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NHS Whistleblower False Allegations of Misconduct


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agree with OD, you need to get the regional offer or FTO involved. That is a simple process if the lay reps at branch wont or cant help.

 

Hi, we did get the Unison regional office involved, they contacted the local in house rep..wrote a letter to us like..

 

Based on limited information what has happened here..you have been disciplined for misconduct and now you want to make a claim at the ET...went on to say..It's not unusal for an individual accused of bullying to launch a counter claim..there would be an investigation and at some point a conclusion would be reached..allegations of patient care would also form part of the investigation..without the referal from the local rep no merits assessment would have taken place..Taking all the points into consideration this is NOT a case Unison can support..

 

To be fair..we did not send the assessment forms back to them but, they felt they had enough information from the rep to make a judgement call on the case. What they failed to consider is the time frame involved when filing an ET claim also pronounced OH guilty in advance.

 

we then went looking around for info re Unison representing people and a polithera of tales of woe emerged..one quote was nice " Unison are as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike":-)

 

Think there is 6 month time limit for complaints under Trade Union Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992

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Again this would not be put in the hands of a local work place rep

The local branch would send an Area Rep down to handle this

 

You need to stop this prejudice you have to Unison Nevos in your posts for whatever reason. It is clouding your judgement in my opinion and does not help your cause, a distraction

 

A few of us on the forum are and have been Trade Union branch officials and worked our way up from a work place rep. That involves going to college to be proficient in trade union legislation and vicarious liability. All Trade Unions have to follow the law and set procedures when representing people

 

Reps do not Guess at senior level as it has a habit of turning round and biting you on the butt

Edited by obiter dictum
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Well OD,

 

Again, I can only tell you from personal experience, it's not a predjudice at all and you appear to be continuing the tangent. I would be more than happy to post the letter from the regional office.

 

Have ammended the above post 28 as the letter starts based on the limited information..

 

The fact is that some union reps are very good I hear however, some are not. Unison also claimed that the issue pre-dated membership which was totally not true.

 

Just want to say this: OH had a meeting with the Unison rep and gave her all the documents including the protected disclosures..3 weeks later the Trust tried to fire wife..The reason we rang the rep 15 times or so was to ask her what had she done with the documents, who did she give the information to? No reply from the calls or texts..

 

What do you think the reason was for ignoring all contact?

 

Nev

 

PS: A union is not a recognised body to make a protected disclosure to under Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998

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The bundle has arrived all 1200 pages of it... the solicitors have put a few of our documents in but, these have been copied so faint they can't be read also scattered around like confetti. The important docs have been left out in total.

 

Looking at the grammer in thier investigation docs it's quite obvious they have been cut and pasted, we have applied for an inspection order which, thier solicitor is objecting to..

 

We are thinking to produce a mini bundle to go with our statement on the day with clear copies and cross referenced to the main bundle..

 

Anyone got any thoughts on this?

 

Nev.

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Hi nevos,

In my experience from what you describe, they're trying the classic trick of covering you in irrelevant paperwork.

At higher level all organisations will sweep things under the carpet, falsify documents, make up documents that didn't exist and dispose of damning ones if they know you haven't got a copy.

I've even come across a case a few years ago where a key document had been altered by the company and the employee (ex) had a copy.

He was accused of tampering with the document.

Even the metadata report had been altered to show that the original document had not been modified by the company.

But don't despair, disclosing tons of paperwork is a double edged sword: You will have to analyse the all bundle very thoroughly and most likely you will find gross inconsistencies.

It will take a lot of time and energy but hopefully it will be worth it.

Just to cheer you up and give you some hope I tell you another story about thousand pages disclosures.

A union rep was sacked for a minor argument over the phone with a colleague.

In the gigantic disclosure he found that the time and recipient of some key emails did not match the forwarded emails.

The company avoided going to et, paid for his silence and re-instated him (although in a different location).

We always wondered if the solicitor had been sacked...

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Whilst this thread is very interesting, are you sure you want a public forum discussion on this, which can be viewed by your opponents ?

 

If your opponents are playing games by producing unreadable documents, you should advise them of this, with a copy sent to the ET you will be attending. You should be making a formal complaint if the other side are trying to frustrate the process.

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Hi King12345, yes that has cheered me up no end..thanks. We have read many such cases of this kind of tampering ...it can show that the other side are on the back foot..

 

We have asked the solicitor to act in a professional manner or we would be forced to take the matter up with thier complaints procedure and the Solicitors Regulatory Authority or the Law Society.

 

Nev.

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Whilst this thread is very interesting, are you sure you want a public forum discussion on this, which can be viewed by your opponents ?

 

If your opponents are playing games by producing unreadable documents, you should advise them of this, with a copy sent to the ET you will be attending. You should be making a formal complaint if the other side are trying to frustrate the process.

 

Thank you UB67, there are quite a few cases where similar complaints have been reported to the ET however, they take the view that the parties should be able to agree a workable bundle consequently, they often will not intervene.

 

Would also like to say that we must not forget that the over riding objective is patient care and a better NHS for all service users. To expose cover up and bring those responsible to account.

 

Regarding the public forum: In the interest of justice for those who have or contemplate action in the ET due to being victimised by an employer, even though the government have introduced steep charges for filing..hopefully anyone reading may get some benefit from our open discussion..

 

Though, we do appreciate your concern, thank you.

 

Nev.

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You have to watch that this does not become some sort of witch hunt and objectivity is lost

 

Might i suggest a fresh pair of eyes to go over the court bundle?

 

And as to your comment for objectivity:

 

"PS: A union is not a recognised body to make a protected disclosure to under Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998"

 

That is incorrect, under Section 43 of the act if the Employer has Trade Union Recognition for the purpose of Collective Barganing

Edited by obiter dictum
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This case made me remember an old friend nurse who use to say: "my duty is to look after the patients, the managers' duty is to save money"

She now works in a private hospital abroad having become too frustrated to work for nhs.

I know it doesn't contribute to the discussion, but just to emphasise the fact that the op's wife is not alone.

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You have to watch that this does not become some sort of witch hunt and objectivity is lost

 

Might i suggest a fresh pair of eyes to go over the court bundle?

 

And as to your comment for objectivity:

 

"PS: A union is not a recognised body to make a protected disclosure to under Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998"

 

That is incorrect, under Section 43 of the act if the Employer has Trade Union Recognition for the purpose of Collective Barganing

 

You are 100% right here OD, less haste more speed..

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This case made me remember an old friend nurse who use to say: "my duty is to look after the patients, the managers' duty is to save money"

She now works in a private hospital abroad having become too frustrated to work for nhs.

I know it doesn't contribute to the discussion, but just to emphasise the fact that the op's wife is not alone.

 

King12345, you know, the NHS is loosing good people daily, the ones with compassion can't actually cope with it all..I'm getting old now though, I can remember when the matron's office had a huge window over looking the ward..when matron said jump..the only question was how high..

 

There are some fantastic people working in the NHS, it is still the envy of many countries but, IMO we need to get a grip of the wrong culture that has thrived within..

 

But hey, this not a new problem, remember the brain drain?

 

Nev.

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  • 2 weeks later...

obiter dictum,

 

On this point : "PS: A union is not a recognised body to make a protected disclosure to under Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998"

 

That is incorrect, under Section 43 of the act if the Employer has Trade Union Recognition for the purpose of Collective Barganing.,

 

Are you saying this is covered by 43 C (2)

 

Nev.

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I have a question regarding Union matters:

 

If a person makes a protected disclosure to an in house NHS Turst union rep regarding safe guarding of vulnerable adults in written format, what is the Union rep's responsibility and what should they do with the disclosure?

 

Thanks..

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi JeneiMac,

 

Thanks for that..the case has now been heard and we are waiting for the judgement..

 

Thanks..

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Nevos,

 

I hope you got the judgment that you were looking for; it would be interesting for many to hear the outcome of this case as sadly it's not all that uncommon in the NHS.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Kirjava, and thanks for your post.

 

We lost the case though, it didn't come as a surprise at all. The other side produced a host of spurious documents, a total of 8 witness's who's accounts of events were far from factual.

 

From the start their solicitors gave us a huge run around with the bundle, any document that helped us was virtually illegible, requests for clear copies resulted in some documents being reformatted even turned up on different letter heads. We ended up having 3 case management hearings, at the last one 4 weeks before the full hearing their sols gave us a whole new bundle this was bundle number 3.

 

Judge X was down to hear the case however Judge Y heard the case, at one case management and on the way through security we overheard the solicitor asking for Judge Y by name.

 

The Judge made a point throughout of stopping us mentioning anything about the wrongdoing, the stock answer each time was The respondents accept the disclosures. Yes sure, their defence was that the manager had filed the disclosures away and not told anyone..pure tosh..as a consequence the claimant could not have been treated detrimentally as no one knew about the disclosures..

 

Check out this link 21 ways to skin a whistleblower

 

Anyway it went on for 4 days with a full house of managers and staff all sat there either nodding or shaking their heads as the hearing went on, the judge had to tell them in the end, it was difficult for the other half already on medication and all meant to intimidate her.

 

In the judgement apart from the manager who was disciplined for not acting on the disclosures the rest was way off the mark however, we did not have the fight left to appeal. Our case was well prepared with supporting documents and relevant case law, every word of it was ignored.

 

It does not end there because, as we understand matters, a report has been sent to the Coroners office I can't say more on that, only that during the Trust's internal investigation some staff had two Unison representatives and looking at the questions exercised their right not to self incriminate. On the other hand Unison refused to assist wife with her case, even suggested she had not been a member long enough..BS.

 

One very salient message came out of all this journey is that, NHS Foundation Trusts are actually not properly regulated. Firstly, regarding the CQC the Trusts have the power of self investigation, the CQC in our case i.e. the whistle-blowing accepted the Trusts versions without question even the the serious nature of the neglect.

 

Secondly, NHS Foundation Trusts have another regulator Monitor, this regulator has only interest in the question " Is the NHS Trust in question well lead" that's it. If the Monitor decides to remove Directors, the Trust in question can even select the replacement directors.

 

I'm sure I read some article saying that the care Minister has little power over NHS Foundation Trusts..might be wrong I'll look for it.

 

Naturally, this whole issue is complex and I'm sorry that I can't lay out everything here but, hope you get the flavour of things!

 

Thanks.

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Hi honeybee13 and ericsbrother,

 

Thanks for comments! I had said to my wife that, I didn't hold out much hope of winning the case from an early stage, the Trust held all the cards..any witness we could have called or had ordered to appear had already been threatened with disciplinary action for even speaking to wife. In fact the judge said at one point..you could have made an application for a witness order..well that's all well and good however, you can not cross examine a witness brought to the hearing by order..

 

The good news is that wife has recovered and started a new job recently..she had suffered a total loss of confidence. We still worry about the wrongdoing and cover up.

 

Thanks again..

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