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North Tees NHS nurse awarded £460k after unfair dismissal

A whistleblower nurse who was sacked after warning that the workload on NHS staff had led to a patient’s death has been awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Linda Fairhall, who had an “unblemished” career as a nurse for almost 40 years, was suspended and then sacked in 2016 after raising concerns about patient safety.

The 62-year-old nurse, from Billingham, has now been awarded a payout in excess of £462,000, her lawyers have said.

It is thought to be a record for lost salary and remedies.

Ms Fairhall had been a nurse at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust. She started working with the NHS in 1979 and had been overseeing a team of about 50 district nurses in Hartlepool when she was suspended.

In 2020, Ms Fairhall successfully challenged her employer's decision to dismiss her.

Though the trust tried to appeal the decision last year, the appeal court found in her favour again – saying the tribunal had reached “an unimpeachable decision” that she was dismissed for whistleblowing.

The trust says it is continuing to learn lessons and implement positive change.

She said: "If it changes things for others then it will be worthwhile. I'm relieved it's over.

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Source: The Northern Echo, 14 June 2022


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