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Trust ordered to make second £400k-plus payment to a whistleblower

A trust which last year was ordered to pay a whistleblowing nurse nearly £500,000 must now give a surgeon £430,000 to compensate him for the racial discrimination and harassment he faced after raising patient safety concerns.

Tribunal judges previously upheld complaints made by Manuf Kassem against North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust and have published a remedy judgment this week setting out the levels of damages the NHS organisation must pay.

The judgment comes just over a year after a former senior nurse at the trust was awarded £472,600 for unfair dismissal after she warned high workloads had led to a patient’s death.

Mr Kassem raised 25 concerns regarding patients’ care during a grievance meeting in August 2017. He alleged patients had “suffered complications, negligence, delayed treatment and avoidable deaths”.

A trust review concluded appropriate processes were followed in the 25 cases. However, the tribunal ruled Mr Kassem was subjected to detriment after making the protected disclosure.

According to the judgment, Mr Kassem was subsequently removed from the on-call emergency rota and his identity as a whistleblower was revealed by clinical director Anil Agarwal.

In September 2018, he was the subject of a disciplinary investigation following several allegations against him made by colleagues and others, which concerned “unsafe working practices,” “excessive working hours,” and “potential fraudulent activity.”

The investigation lasted 17 months and none of the allegations against Mr Kassem were upheld or progressed to a disciplinary hearing. 

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 15 March 2024


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