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Newbie, Needing advice regarding health service

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I have encountered issues with my employer for the last 2 years, initially after maternity leave. sly remarks regarding absence etc,


since returning have had sickness episodes which I have been hospitalised for mainly same issue that I was due an operation for.


Several months ago I had an accident in the workplace and had to take time off due to an injury obtained, I was formally reprimanded for this as I hit a trigger, it was escalated to a disciplinary but this was stopped as I involved HR who advised it does not escalate as an injury at work.


Since then I have felt intimidated and bullied by my managers to the point of wanting to leave my job, I enjoy what I do and have been in post 16 years.


Last week I was planed to have an operation regarding my reoccurring illness, I was initially told NO to leave for the op by line manager, I again took it to H.R who agreed the day before the op I could have time off but had to sign to state if my sickness was longer than a set period I would be disciplined, bearing in mind I cant foresee my recovery.


Line manger disagreed and through her contacts my operation was cancelled last minute due to a senior nurse's input. I have been told formally its bed shortages but also informally by consultant it was done by the management.


I cant go on like this and there are many other instances of victimisation and bullying.


I have made complaints which have not been actioned so am going to submit a formal grievance.


My accident at work was there fault they have made trust wide alterations reflecting the cause of my injury, but have never been apologised to and have minor permanent damage due to it, they have shown no compassion.


I am employed obviously by the nhs as any other employer would not be able to cancel my op, sadly its the same trust operating that Im employed in.


Advice is needed urgently as this needs to be addressed, also they have no notes of any formal meetings and in my last meeting regarding a sickness for the reason I was due to have operation I was told in so many words " you have not long had a baby maybe you should reconsider your employment"


Any advice would be appreciated, many thanks

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Hi distressed nurse

I'm sorry to hear you're having such a hard time. Hopefully i can offer some advice based on having worked within the NHS for over 30 years.

reducing sickness/absence monitoring is a currently big target in the NHS at the moment, with many managers being set targets themselves to reduce absenteeism in their own/department performance reviews. Unfortunately few of them have the skills to do this effectively without resorting to threats or discipline ( reviewing work practices/adjusting working hours;tackling organisational factors impacting on staff health ie poor staffing) - it seems your manager may be one of them?

You really need some advice and support to know and assert your rights regarding to this - please tell me you have involved your union rep?

Please don't rely on HR to support you- they are usually responding to the information your manager has given- unfortunately, in my case, didn't even speak throughout a whole 90 minute investigation interview with line manager when over 9 instances of breach of data protection, equality act 2010, and hospital policy and procedure were pulled out from the recorded notes by union legal team.

Please make sure that in every meeting you have that notes are recorded and agreed by both you and the person involved. Formally request that all discussions and decisions are given in writing - I resorted to making requests for leave through email even though my manager was in the next office- just so I could evidence these had been requested and declined or ignored.

unless you can evidence that your manager has disrupted your planned operation ( will the consultant go on record? or is there internal email correspondence between your manager and colleagues / has she accessed your medical files / that can be accessed through a FOI request?) you may not be able to do anything about this. However if she has- this will be regarded as a serious breach of conduct by the trust and taken very seriously.

I can understand how you are feeling, and how truly uncomfortable it is to be working in these kind of conditions. My situation was due to an error I fully admitted to, and accepted the disciplinary sanctions placed by the trust- however my manager thought I was treat too leniently and made my life hell, leading to a severe stress reaction and mental health admission to hospital ( along with 2 other colleagues over a two year period of time :madgrin:) Please get the support of your union if you are raising a grievance - I can't thank them enough for putting it all into perspective for me- her sitting back in her chair looking at me in amazement and saying-' how long have you been treat like this- and why has nobody tried to stop her?' was one of the best moments of my life!!

try to keep a diary of events- you'l need to provide evidence of her actions( and it can also help you to put things into perspective when you look back over it ) so try to make it as localised as possible ie where it happened, who was present, who else was in the room, who said what, what body language, what voice tone/facial expression, what happened next ( this was invaluable to my case as breech of confidentiality was demonstrated by knowledge expressed by and actions of other people, and explanation of words used by my line manager were disregarded when voice tone and body language were demonstrated). keep this record outwith your workplace, and confidential.

I was extremely fortunate in that despite my manager and her HR 'friend' trying to raise further disciplinary action against me- i was very much supported by OH, senior HR manager, and the trust senior management team who looked at the evidence she supplied and threw it out, and moved me to another team away from her- but I couldn't have gotten there or through it without my union rep, regional rep, and union legal team.

I decided to walk away from the NHS following my experiences- so applaud you for taking this step and do feel guilty that I didn't do more to stop her treating others this way - but please make sure you have support, and take good care of yourself, you're heath and well- being comes first and foremost.

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