Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Managers - stop this evil

CAUSE has failed so far to persuade managers in the NHS that suspension is the most devastating action they can take against their staff, causing in some cases, irreparable harm and destroying careers.  The managers don’t seem to be able to grasp that suspension is to be taken when the problem is very serious and when all other avenues have been explored.

The blog that has been read the most is about the devastation of suspension.  Recently I received a nurse’s reflection on her experience of it.  She has given me permission to reproduce it here with some details altered so that she cannot be identified.  It was written when she had been recently suspended.

'It has been an absolute roller coaster of emotions, from deep deep sadness to utter despair and it feels like it has been forever.
My life has been turned upside down.
What makes me happy has been taken away from me and I have done nothing wrong.  My work which is important to me, defines me  -  my contact with patients, my rapport with them, my reputation – they’ve all disappeared and I don’t think I will ever get that back. 

My family see me in such despair, crying, wandering around the house, unable to do basic jobs. I have always encouraged our children to tell the truth and respect others. How can they respect me now?? This is the hardest thing for me to bear.

I try and put a brave face on but I think they can see through that. I really try and do something every day, but I go to bed tired and wake up tired. There seems to be no respite from these feelings.
I can’t eat and I can’t sleep properly. My dreams are nightmares of not being able to get another job. How am I going to pay the mortgage and bills? 

This suspension is supposed to be a neutral act; how can it be when I feel as though I am being punished for something but I have no idea why or what?

What’s happening? Will I get to see the complaints that are supposed to have been made?   How can I challenge them if I don’t know what they are or when they were supposed to have been made? What happens now?  Will it go to a disciplinary hearing? Will I be sacked?   Will I be struck off? 

I feel physically sick when I think about my future...... I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel! 

I feel so isolated and alone, if it wasn’t for my family I don’t know where I would be.  They have been fantastic. 

I feel that my career is over, not because it was my choice, but it’s been forced upon me. 

I find it so difficult to leave the house for anything. I feel safe here and panic when I know I have to go out. Still need to go to the shops, pay bills, see my doctor.   My confidence is rock bottom.

I worry what people must think about me - the old saying "no smoke without fire" comes to mind. I suppose the people who do know me will say this is all rubbish, which it is.

If I go back to work how will I be able to face all these people?  How can anyone possibly think I will be able to go back to work in that place. That’s why I believe I will be sacked.   I have never been sacked in my life!!!!

My thoughts seem to be on a constant loop, can’t stop thinking then trying to dissect what it all means. I function during the day on auto pilot and can’t see an end to this.
Am I stressed.... yes
Am I depressed .... yes
Am I sad .... yes
It’s as though I am going through a grieving process..

I have worked hard and lived my life to my best ability. If I am sacked I see no other option than having to sell up and leave. That would break my heart but I don’t see any other way. Not only might I lose my right to work in my chosen profession I may have to leave my home.'

So managers out there who won’t be reading this person’s distress but who ought to, plus human resources staff, plus union fulltime officers who sometimes collude with the managers and certainly often fail to show any understanding of the distress and despair suspension causes – WAKE UP ALL OF YOU.

This is supposed to be the National Health Service, not the National Destruction Service.

And readers of this blog who understand this person’s heartrending despair, if you have any way of letting the media know about this, please let me know via www.suspension-nhs.org or feel free to pass it on.

One day, please Lord, these terrible injustices and this terrible suffering will be no more.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Careers destroyed with no appeal process and no justice

Careers destroyed with no appeal process and no justice

I find it very difficult to open emails from very distressed registrants, who have suffered horrendous injustices but have nowhere to turn to have their stories told and to be reinstated.  There is such injustice and it is so hard for people to believe except it has happened to the team members at CAUSE (see www.suspension-nhs.org) so we know only too well.

One of the worst was of a registrant who had actually completed her training as a midwife but had spent the final year of her placement in a bullying environment that made her ability to work very difficult.  She said she became a different person.

She was moved to a supportive hospital when she failed her 1st placement of her final year, where she passed well.  She passed her second placement too but was back in the bullying environment for the 3rd and final placement.

Allegations of a couple of drug errors were made but were false.  Criticisms were made of her practice but no action plan was written.  However, unbelievably, the hospital and the university both claimed that an action plan had been written but that the student had the only copy!  Either they were totally incompetent or this was a lie, but they got away with it.

The student was devastated.  She appealed to various bodies who believed what the hospital and university told them, without requesting sight of the documents that didn’t exist. 

She was unpopular for challenging some practices and for reporting bullying behaviour and that finished her career.

She has been unable to get any other organisation to sponsor her to finish her training and lives with the great sadness of this situation.

Worse still, as she noted herself, was the complete waste of tax payers’ money and of her skills that she had developed for a job she longed to do.

Major failings of the Care Quality Commission, with the possibility of a cover up, to hide these, have come to light.  They demonstrate the possibility of serious corruption in high places and the total lack of accountability that currently exists.

Not only do these people need to be investigated but also the many staff who have suffered horrendous injustices, should also have a chance to tell their stories and see justice.  There would be a great influx of dedicated and committed staff who would help to change the culture of the NHS because the numbers are so high.

That is, if they ever wanted to return…

In great sadness

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Drug errors need systems failure analysis not punishment

People regularly get in touch with www.suspension-nhs.org who are in a state of shock having made a drug error and been suspended.   A knee jerk reaction by their manager?  Don’t they have any confidence in their staff?  Do they even know them?

I’m not writing here about someone who has made several errors and now needs an assessment to find out if they are safe to practice.   How did they qualify in the first place if they are unsafe?  Why weren’t they found out before now?  Systems failure and the whole problem of ‘failing’ students on their placements – having the support to do it and then to help the failing student, rather than abandoning them, seems to be the main issue here.  

If they haven’t made repeated errors, the next question should be - is something going very wrong for them in their personal lives, making concentration at work very difficult?  

Back to the usually safe practitioner – and their incompetent manager.  The manager now has to justify their draconian action so a witch hunt begins.  There’s no chance of them following the guidelines for investigations to be transparent and fair, to find out what has actually happened.  

The increasingly pressured climate of staff shortages and higher numbers of frail patients with multiple health problems means staff are at greater risk of making errors. 
What difference would a duty of candour make?  It is planned for organisations post Mid Staffs, but what of staff on the ground?  Would it help to stop suspensions for mistakes and see managers deal correctly with errors? 

Kate Wynn, our Scottish spokesperson at www.suspension-nhs.org feels passionate about this subject and has given me permission to quote her thought provoking observations. 

    "Drug errors, as with errors in everything else, happen all the time.  If they are truly ERRORS then no-one should ever be suspended for one - even if it kills the patient, which on occasion it might do (hopefully very rarely).  We are human beings therefore we will always make mistakes.  We need nurses to be human beings - robots cannot nurse.

I believe all nurses who practise for any length of time make drug errors at one time or another and usually, or perhaps always, if they practise long enough they will make more than one.  I've made more than one (that I know of that is - I may have made one or more that I don't know about) and I believe I'm no worse in that respect than any other nurse. 

When I made my first drug error I was in bits and wracked with guilt.  I had a manager at the time who understood that it was actually a normal event and she helped me to come to terms with what I'd done by her empathic understanding.  Her attitude, quite rightly, was that my own conscience would punish me more than was justified therefore all I needed from her was compassion.  When I made my second drug error I did initially think that I was a terrible person and that no-one else had ever done such a thing.  It took me a considerable amount of time to realise that I was not failing in some way, I was only honest for reporting it.

I did not know all of this until I had nursed for more than 20 years.  Then I was the Senior Nurse of a small hospital at a time when there was a lot of talk about 'learning from the airline industry' and 'getting rid of the blame culture'.  Over a period of years and with a lot of hard work, I eventually fostered a working environment where nurses were not afraid to come forward if they realised they had made a drug error.  I'm confident that eventually all the drug errors that the nurses knew they had made were then reported.  Reporting then happened promptly so that a doctor could be consulted and any necessary action taken.  The patients were informed of the errors, as were their relatives etc.  No-one was disciplined for a genuine error.  No patients or families complained about a drug error - they thanked us for our openness.  We tried to identify where the system was wrong and to right such wrongs but errors did continue to happen, because we were all human and we were required to undertake a potentially dangerous activity. 

Were there any other outcomes?  Yes, eventually there was one - talk of a 'no-blame culture' disappeared and I was criticised personally because I had the highest number of drug errors in the wider Health Board area within my unit!!   (Of course I'm sure I didn't - the unit I managed just had the highest number of REPORTED errors.)  What's for certain is that nurses in that hospital (where I no longer work) will no more be so quick to report it if they know they have made a mistake, and that means that a patient is more likely to die or to be seriously harmed."

Great words of wisdom there from Kate and the evidence, though anecdotal, that being allowed to report without repercussions is actually much safer than a culture of punishment and blame.

Will anything change?  Sadly it seems not and we are destined to continue to open emails from honest and hardworking, over stretched staff, in shock because of the action taken against them.  Please competent managers, sort out your incompetent colleagues to get this terrible injustice stopped.  But be warned, if this is the general culture of your organisation, then you may find yourself in trouble too.



Thursday, 2 May 2013

The NHS Black Hole; the Disappeared

Another person disappears down the NHS black hole - the disappeared

A great sadness to me is the number of people who have been lost to the NHS because of corrupt NHS managers and cruel or fearful colleagues.  The people destroyed are usually conscientious staff, and not very popular with any colleagues whose work is shoddy, who bully or who don’t much care for patients and caring.

Why are they working there then you wonder?  Good question.  And I don’t have to justify these statements because the press has been flagging up horrendous stories of cruelty and neglect.  See www.dignifiedrevolution.com for some of these.

Back to the conscientious workers.  They are popular with patients because they care and are passionate about nursing and sadly that makes them even more unpopular with these malfunctioning people.  The carers answer calls for help.  They are usually very careful with their record keeping, staying behind to finish the work.

Apart from these carers committing suicide, which tragically I believe has happened though I don’t have details, the worst thing of all happened to Amanda Jenkinson.

Her life was destroyed by her colleagues and trust/employer. (What a misnamed word ‘trust’ can be, I always think.)  Very serious allegations were made against her and she ended up serving a 4 year prison sentence.  Imagine that.  I can’t.

A colleague bravely wrote of her ‘She was always innocent but was betrayed by her colleagues who allowed events to escalate into something they could not control. The management at the time was weak and positively encouraged rivalry and animosity between colleagues. Nurses felt threatened by Amanda Jenkinson's knowledge, skills and expertise which should have been seen as an asset to the profession rather than creating insecurity from lesser qualified nurses in a more senior position. Amanda Jenkinson became a victim simply because of her intelligence, no nonsense professional demeanour and witty sense of humour.’  From the internet.

That aptly describes what has been replicated times without number for many others, though thankfully, without the dreadful experience of a prison sentence but nearly as bad.
Betrayal by colleagues, very destructive management behaviours and professional jealousy to the point of active animosity follow.

Hard to believe?  In a supposedly caring profession?  Yes. And so unquantified and unresearched and concealed, making this dark side of the NHS even more sinister. 

It took a further five years for Ms Jenkinson to have the sentence quashed as unsafe, because of the mathematics of a so called expert witness.  What a waste of that poor woman’s life and skills, what a loss to those patients she might have cared for, if this had never happened.

And what sort of healing help was there for Ms Jenkinson afterwards or for any of these victims of travesties of justice?  To my knowledge, nothing at all. Did she return to nursing?  I understand she never wanted anything to do with it ever again.

How many hours of dedicated nursing and midwifery and health visiting care have been lost to the public?  Other disciplines too. 

If this blog achieves anything, I hope it can help towards bringing these sorts of terrible injustices to an end.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Blow the Whistle? Absolutely not unless.....

12 years ago I would have said yes, we must raise concerns when we have them.  It is only fair to patients and colleagues.

In a short space of time, after starting the www.suspension-nhs.org website, I began to realise that it was an extremely dangerous thing to do and counterproductive, because people were silenced and disappeared, almost without trace down some sort of NHS black hole equivalent.

That sounds dramatic I know, but the whistleblower was silenced by false allegations being made against them followed by suspension, with the customary warning not to contact work colleagues or go on to trust property.

It was very effective.  A delay before the unsubstantiated allegations were sent in the post – probably by second class post.  No hurry here – very demoralising.  Then another wait till the investigatory interview, followed by another long wait before a date for a disciplinary hearing was set.  The whole thing a kangaroo court travesty of injustice with the whistleblower’s defence ignored.

By this time they are fighting for their professional career and have very little energy left to return to the concerns they tried to raise.

You see, the whole point of needing to whistle blow in the first place is that the managers are not listening, don’t want to listen and may even be friends and protectors of the poor practitioners etc.
If you look at the Patients First website (www.patientsfirst.org.uk) you’ll see a gallery of eminent whistleblowers whose stories make your blood boil, the injustices they have suffered at terrible personal cost on every front – emotional, physical, psychological, relational, and financial for example.
Endless policies have been written and staff even threatened with disciplinary action if they don’t speak up.  No action is contemplated against managers who don’t respond, though there are stirrings post Francis report! 
No action against the staff who make false allegations. 
No actions against investigators who start a search (witch hunt) to find anything they can to add to the charges to justify their suspension/silencing of the staff member,and increasing their distress.

Helene Donnelly who bravely raised concerns at Mid Staffs and who suffered the consequences, was so fortunate to get out before she was silenced.  And her heroism has come to light because of the tireless campaign by Julie Bailey and others, to get justice for the many people who needlessly died in that place, also at considerable personal cost to Julie.  See www.curethenhs.co.uk

There is a glimmer of light in Terry Dennis’s paper ‘Coping with toxic organisations’ (see www.healthcarealliances.co.uk Information Services)  in which he suggests ways of starting to carry colleagues with you when you want to try and change the situation.  He warns it is not for the fainthearted and a slow process.

And that’s the problem – people’s homes depend on their incomes and there have been people who have contacted us, who have lost their homes after losing their livelihoods.

A very strange phenomenon is that where whistleblowers are being very effectively silenced at one end of the spectrum, at the other end of the spectrum, where there has been gross misconduct by staff, managers have covered up and protected these practitioners.  See https://twitter.com/tomsanguish to follow one such tragic story. 
Blow the whistle – definitely not unless the rest of the staff will stand with you and you can get someone to investigate from outside the organisation who actually has the power and the willingness to intervene.  Ah, there’s the rub……

Thursday, 11 April 2013

English Chief Nurses - Can't Help, Won't Help

Dame Sarah Mullally was the English chief nurse when the suspension website
(www.suspension-nhs.org )  was set up in 2003.  She granted me a 10 minute phone call, was empathetic and a realist.  She was unable to offer any help at that time with the way things were in the Department of Health and the Government.

Professor Christine Beasley (now also Dame) came to the helm.  I wrote to her.  Silence.  Craig in our team fared much better.  Dame Beasley denied there was a problem of unjust suspensions in the NHS.  And she should know because she was travelling the country and meeting lots of people.

That was a staggering response of utter ignorance about people.  As if trusts are going to admit to problems.  Of course they get out the red carpet and show how everything in the garden is rosy.  She needed to look below the surface at mortality rates, staff sickness and retention rates – to name a few. 
She couldn’t look at numbers of staff currently suspended because the Department of Health refused to have any record kept.  Too scared as they already knew the numbers were high from the National Audit Office report of 2003 (The Management of Suspensions of Clinical Staff in NHS Hospital and Ambulance Trusts in England Nov. 6th ’03)

Back to the English chief nurse – about 30 people sent her their stories in strict confidence and some fear and trepidation in case anything was leaked to the offending trusts, for fear of reprisals.

Her response, in collaboration with The National Patient Safety Agency, was to set out some Principles - 
Title : Handling concerns about the performance of healthcare professionals:
principles of good practice
Author DH & National Patient Safety Agency
Publication Date September 2006
Target Audience PCT CEs, NHS Trusts CEs, SHA CEs, Care Trust CEs, Foundation Trust CEs,
Medical Directors, Directors of Nursing, NHS Trust Board Chairs, Special HA
CEs, Directors of HR, Allied Health Professionals, GPs, Communications
Circulation List PCT CEs, NHS Trusts CEs, SHA CEs, Foundation Trust CEs,
Medical Directors, Directors of Nursing, NHS Trust Board Chairs, Special HA
CEs, Directors of HR, Allied Health Professionals, GPs, Communications
Leads, Emergency Care Leads, NDPBs, Independent Healthcare Leads
Description This best practice guidance on handling concerns about professional
practice has been developed collaboratively by senior individuals of all
healthcare professions, regulators, commissioners and patient groups. It
will be useful in all settings where healthcare is offered and encompasses
everyone whatever their position in the organisation

Now why would anyone imagine that these malfunctioning managers are going to know about the Principles, let alone adhere to them.
‘Oh look, our beloved leader says we should be doing this.  What a good idea.  Transparent and fair – what a good idea.’

It would be laughable if it weren’t that people are being destroyed by these people – horrendous.

So it was a complete waste of time as managers already had the Incident Decision Tree to guide them what action was necessary when there were problems, and Root Cause Analysis to identify systems failures and how to prevent any further problems.
If they’d ever done it in the first place.
A lot of the people we at CAUSE were hearing from, were innocent targets.

Big sigh. Oh the pain and suffering that is going on right now and people just don’t know unless they are directly involved.
Will it ever end?

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Devastation of Suspension - Never a Neutral Act

One of the things that distresses me beyond words is the way innocent staff are accused of things they haven’t done and told that it’s ok, that suspension is a neutral act.

How can it be neutral when it sends someone into a state of shock. If it were neutral, the suspended person would not feel threatened.

Isolated, ill, humiliated, and one’s work rubbished as the person has been torn away from it, instantly.

Lord Justice Elias, at the Court of Appeal, made these observations about suspension.  ( See

This case raises a matter which causes me some concern. It appears to be the almost automatic response of many employers to allegations of this kind to suspend the employees concerned, and to forbid them from contacting anyone, as soon as a complaint is made, and quite irrespective of the likelihood of the complaint being established. As Lady Justice Hale, as she was, pointed out in Gogay v Herfordshire County Council [2000] IRLR 703, even where there is evidence supporting an investigation, that does not mean that suspension is automatically justified. 
It should not be a knee jerk reaction, and it will be a breach of the duty of trust and confidence towards the employee if it is. 
I appreciate that suspension is often said to be in the employee's best interests; but many employees would question that, and in my view they would often be right to do so. They will frequently feel belittled and demoralised by the total exclusion from work and the enforced removal from their work colleagues, many of whom will be friends. This can be psychologically very damaging. 
Even if they are subsequently cleared of the charges, the suspicions are likely to linger, not least I suspect because the suspension appears to add credence to them. 
It would be an interesting piece of social research to discover to what extent those conducting disciplinary hearings subconsciously start from the assumption that the employee suspended in this way is guilty and look for evidence to confirm it. 
It was partly to correct that danger that the courts have imposed an obligation on the employers to ensure that they focus as much on evidence which exculpates the employee as on that which inculpates him.

How true all this is, though couched in cautious language!

I suspect that the manager who has made the decision to suspend the staff member will now try to justify their draconian action to their colleagues so are bent on finding anything and everything to add credence to their action. It is not subconscious in my view, but deliberate, the words ‘witch hunt’ coming to mind. 

What injustice and what a mess and no one knows this is going on except the poor people experiencing it and an employment tribunal, if it gets that far.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Malicious, Malfunctioning, Cowardly or Just Plain Incompetent - Some managers

So what am I trying to expose about these malfunctioning, inept or possibly downright evil  managers.  Is evil too strong a word for the worst sort?  The accusations against the senior nurses at present before the Nursing and Midwifery Council from Mid Staffs Hospital, describe severely bullying behaviour that destroys people.  Surely that’s evil, whatever the pressures on the people perpetrating such behaviour?

I have known a couple of people who have been very badly treated and who have become obsessed with fighting back through employment tribunals, running out of money, destroying their marriages and becoming convinced that there is a great conspiracy going on out there.

Does the truth prevail or will it finally be revealed? 
There are people who have been struck off by the NMC who are entirely innocent.  There are other staff who have been disciplined for things they didn’t do.  I think these numbers are substantial.

Where are the unions?  That will have to wait for another blog!

I’ve often thought about these managers, how they can do these things.  Who are they?  Where is their integrity?  As they have often been suppressing the truth, are they safe to have working in the NHS?  I think not.  If they lie in these proportions, what else are they capable of?

Teachers say that failed teachers often end up working as Ofsted inspectors.  Sometimes nursing staff wonder if the same process is in action in the NHS.   One thing these management people are very good at, is talking.  They are very convincing, especially to their superiors.

The whole culture can become very destructive.  Terry Dennis, of the wonderful Dignified Revolution campaign group  (www.dignifiedrevolution.org.uk)  has produced two papers about toxic organisations and difficult colleagues, available to download at www.healthcarealliances.co.uk. 
( See Articles. ) Mr Dennis quotes well known psychological experiments that demonstrate how managers can lose the plot and how other staff join in, for a variety of reasons. 

One of the shocks for many suspended people, is the way people they thought were friends, turn against them.  Many people say that they found out who their friends really were when they suffered their nightmare experience.

As the managers are currently wholly unaccountable to any outside agency, they are free to behave in these ways until the day they retire, leaving a trail of destruction behind them.

Hopefully all this will change since the release of the Francis Report into Mid Staffs and the concerted actions of groups like Patients First (www.patientsfirst.org.uk) and Cure the NHS (www.curethenhs.co.uk ).

So on that optimistic note, I’ll stop.
With best wishes

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Unjust Suspensions - Their Devastating Impact

The nurse or midwife gets a call to go to the office.  There is often no indication of what is about to happen.  Often they are not told to bring a union rep (if they are a member) or a trusted colleague if they are not, and they don’t think to try and find out what it is all about.

They walk in to a room with their line manager and someone from Human Resources sitting waiting for them.  They start to feel anxious.  They are invited to sit down and told they are to be suspended because of allegations that have been made about them. 

The information they are given is sparse.  Sometimes it is virtually non existent.  Sometimes they are given a copy of the trust’s disciplinary policies, sometimes they have to request it later.

Then they are asked for their ID and any keys and ‘marched off the premises’ – the phrase often used, with their shocked colleagues looking on.  Oh the shame and humiliation of it.

Worse than that is a phone call telling them they are not to come into work and that they will receive a letter telling them why.  Then the process I mentioned in my previous blog entry, kicks in.

So what impact does this terrible shock have on them?

They can’t eat, they can’t sleep, they can’t think straight except racking their brains trying to remember what it is that they are supposed to have done.  If their families are around, they are equally shocked and also very very angry that their lovely family member has been treated in this way.

There is a standard letter used by HR that tells them they are not to contact anyone or go into work.  So what if their partner works for the trust?  What if they need to attend hospital for themselves or a family member?  What if the people they work with are very good friends?

On our website, there is a template letter people can use to challenge this instruction.  It is for the trust to show that it is proportionate and reasonable (See the Home page of www.suspension-nhs.org
An ACAS helpline adviser told us that there is no legislation that supports this instruction. A Human Rights Commission adviser told us that it is an infringement of the Human Rights Act 1998 Article 8 that allows people the right to respect for private and family life.  See www.equalityhumanrights.com
Where are the unions on this?  Why haven’t they challenged this already?

It is no wonder that many people suffer psychological injury and require urgent treatment.  Many people describe having suicidal thoughts and some have even attempted it. 

Worst of all, the managers have absolutely no idea of all this, or if they do, they don’t have any compassion or loyalty or belief in their staff, another shock to the suspended staff member.

The suffering is one reason why the team at www.suspension-nhs.org still carries on, having experienced so much of these feelings ourselves.

So those of you who get to read this and who have no knowledge of these terrible injustices and injuries to staff, just consider the possibility that suspended people may not actually be guilty of any wrongdoing but will be suffering terribly.

On this sad note, my best wishes to you

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

NHS Managers, Unjust Suspensions and Kangaroo Courts

Things are hotting up for the devious managers still very much at large in the NHS but still terrible injustices are taking place for NHS staff and you the reader, know nothing about them unless you have been a victim or know someone who has.

It is unbelievable. False allegations, unjust suspensions, kangaroo investigations, extended to disciplinaries, and then punishment of some sort or another to silence the victim.  In the worst case scenario they are dismissed and reported to the Nursing and Midwifery Council where a new nightmare begins.

How do I know these things?

Not only was I suspended unjustly after a critical incident, and then again, accused of an impossible action, (yes I know, very careless of me but once you’ve been suspended, you are always in danger) I became a founder member of CAUSE – the Campaign Against Unnecessary Suspensions and Exclusions in the NHS.  That was in June 2003 and nearly 500 people later – only the tip of the iceberg I hasten to add, of the numbers of staff in the NHS suspended in that time – I have heard a similar story with depressing and monotonous regularity. 

So have the wonderful team of people who have also been victims of these suspensions and who, by helping others, see these horrendous processes repeated, as if there were a manual these devious or malfunctioning managers, follow.

I’m writing this blog as a way of trying to reduce the stress caused when I open emails and read terrible stories sent by devastated staff.  Because that’s what suspension does to people.  Their families too.

We guard the confidentiality of the people who contact us with great care.  They are already living in terrible fear.  My comments will always be general, with no specific details of particular cases so that people cannot be identified.

Our dream is that one day, managers will no longer be able to do these things to staff and that the NHS will truly become a HEALTHY service to work in, not the place it is at present for many people.

I’m extremely grateful to the Nursing Times for its stories of excellent practice in well led trusts, where staff are truly valued and any concerns properly dealt with to improve and learn, not blame and silence. Patient mortality rates are low too!  It gives me hope.

 CAUSE also supports the Nursing Times campaign Speak Out Safely, aiming to bring about an honest and transparent NHS that protects staff who speak out.  See tinyurl.com/NTSOS-petition.
You can read more about CAUSE on the www.suspension-nhs.org website. It’s so good to have got started and my thanks to my son who set up and updates our website and who helped me set up this blog.  No more unjust suspensions is my prayer…..

With best wishes to all my innocent readers