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NHS must review ‘all disciplinary procedures’ by March following nurse’s suicide

PUBLISHED

Trusts have been urged to reflect on their disciplinary procedures, and review them annually where required, following the death of a senior nurse who took his own life after being dismissed.

NHS England’s chief people officer Prerana Issar has written to trust leaders to highlight Imperial College Healthcare Trust’s new disciplinary procedures, which were put in place following Amin Abdullah’s suicide.

Mr Abdullah, a senior nurse at Charing Cross Hospital in west London, was suspended in September 2015 before being let go from his job that December. He died in February 2016 after setting himself on fire.

An independent investigation criticised both the trust and its staff and concluded he had been “treated unfairly”. The summary report produced by the trust was labelled a “whitewash”, which “served to reassure the trust that it had handled the case with due care and attention”, and the delay of three months between the events and hearing were “troubling”.

The report, which also criticised the delays as “excessive” and “weak” in their justification, said Mr Abdullah found the delay “stressful” and caused him to become “distressed”.

In the letter sent on Tuesday, seen by HSJ, Ms Issar said: “The shared learning from Amin’s experience has demonstrated the need for us to work continuously and collaboratively, to ensure that our people practices are inclusive, compassionate and person-centred, with an overriding objective as to the safety and wellbeing of our people… our collective goal is to ensure we enable a fair and compassionate culture in our NHS. I urge you to honestly reflect on your organisation’s disciplinary procedure…"

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Source: HSJ, 3 December 2020

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