Ms Austin, who works for Southend University Hospital, Essex, said that she had witnessed nurses taking insufficient time off between full shifts. She said that one colleague had finished a night shift at 7:30am and then had to start another shift at noon. As a result, the claimant felt that patients were at risk due to nurses getting little sleep. Subsequently, Ms Austin wrote a letter to her senior bosses explaining the issue - which she felt was unsafe practice.
However, the claimant said that after submitting the letter, she was subjected to bullying from several colleagues. She launched an internal grievance, but the report found no evidence of bullying or victimisation.
Speaking on her decision to alert bosses, she said “It was done in good faith with the best intentions and in the public interest. Patient safety was, and still is, my top priority. It is fact I suffered repercussions following it. That contravened the whistleblowing policy. These initial repercussions lasted almost six months and there is nothing fanciful in the fact they have continued for several years.”
The Employment Tribunal hearing has now adjourned and its decision will be announced at a later date.
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