PDA support call for NHS to review ‘all disciplinary procedures’ by March following nurse’s suicide

The PDA welcome the direction given to NHS employers to ensure disciplinary procedures are up to date and suggests all pharmacy employers follow that example.

Mon 7th December 2020 The PDA

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

Mr Abdullah was a senior nurse at Charing Cross Hospital, London. He was dismissed in December 2015 following a flawed disciplinary procedure and died in February 2016 after taking his own life. A group of NHS employees had signed letters supporting a colleague who was subject to a patient complaint, but Mr Abdullah had been the only one subject to disciplinary proceedings as a result. A subsequent independent investigation into the case concluded the Trust’s disciplinary process was “weak and unfair” with “excessive delays” and that Mr Abdullah been “treated unfairly”.

The PDA understand that Ms Issar has written to all trusts this month requesting they review their disciplinary procedures saying “Where action is required, I urge NHS organisations to commit to tangible and timely action to review on a yearly basis and by the end of this financial year, all disciplinary procedures against the recommendations and that these are formally discussed or minuted at a public board or equivalent.

“I would also like to suggest your policy is made available on your organisation’s public website by the end of the financial year.”

The PDA welcomes these efforts to ensure that disciplinary processes within the NHS are improved and recommend that all pharmacy employers we also deal with should make similar efforts to ensure their own disciplinary procedures are fit for purpose.

The PDA has significant experience of representing pharmacists who are subject to disciplinary procedures in the NHS and elsewhere. It is not unusual for members who are suspended from work to report a deterioration in their mental health and in some cases pharmacists have attempted to take their own life. If you are a PDA member and are aware you will be subject to a disciplinary process, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our service centre.


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