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A nurse who was sacked after attempting to start a whistleblowing process following the death of a patient has been awarded a £462,000 pay out.
Nursing Standard. 37, 7, 7-7. doi: 10.7748/ns.37.7.7.s4
Published: 06 July 2022
Linda Fairhall (pictured below), a nurse for almost 40 years, raised concerns about staffing levels and increased workload that she believed contributed to the death of a patient in October 2016.
Ms Fairhall, who worked for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust (NTHFT), said she hoped her ordeal would be ‘worthwhile’ and mean other nurses can raise concerns without fear.
‘I feel relieved I am finally at the end of a long process,’ she said in a statement. ‘I may have lost my career in nursing but if it changes things for others then it will be worthwhile.’
Ms Fairhall was a clinical care coordinator for a district nursing team of around 50 employees.
She had previously been praised by the Care Quality Commission and the Nursing and Midwifery Council for the way she managed her team.
But when she raised concerns about her team having its workload increase by 1,000 patient visits per month with no extra resources, she was suspended and eventually dismissed after stating her intention to speak out on the issue.
She won her case at tribunal in September 2019 but the trust appealed. She has now been awarded compensation for loss of earnings and remedies.
Jodie Hill, her solicitor at Thrive Law, said: ‘I am so glad this is over for Linda. It’s been such a difficult time for her.
‘She has been through so much and can finally start to move on with her life. Hopefully, lessons are learned from many of the mistakes made in this case and other nurses don’t lose their careers, like Linda did.’
A spokesperson for NTHFT said the trust ‘has continued to learn lessons and implement processes that impact positive change’.
They added: ‘The trust remains committed to supporting staff and patients in raising concerns relating to practice and care.’