An NHS whistleblower who broke down in tears after her claims of bullying were dismissed by an employment tribunal yesterday has warned the decision will deter others from speaking out.
Psychologist Hayley Dare said she was bullied by her bosses at West London Mental Health NHS Trust after she raised concerns about poor patient care and staff welfare.
But an employment tribunal at Watford found that Ms Dare had made the claims because she was “particularly distressed” about the prospect of losing six of her psychology sessions, which would have had a significant impact on her job.
“The tribunal finds that the claimant, in making her disclosure when she did, had not done so in good faith,” said tribunal chairman Ian Henry.
“The tribunal accordingly dismisses the claimant’s claims.”
Fighting back the tears, Ms Dare said: “It was about patient care. Nobody in their right mind would go though any of this for their own motives.
“I think it’s been lost on a point of law and actually doesn’t really address any of the issues. It would inhibit anyone from whistleblowing.”
She said the tribunal’s ruling and reference to the six sessions being cut “misrepresents what happened.”
Her next move is to find a job, a task she thought would be difficult, “which is another reason why I’d never do this.”
West London Mental Health NHS Trust insisted its “whistleblowing policy protects members of staff who raise concerns through this route.”
Protecting whistleblowers was a key recommendation following a public inquiry into Mid Staffordshire hospital, where as many as 1,200 patients died due to substandard care between 2005 and 2008.