Scapegoated Nurse Exonerated

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Trade Union membership more important than ever

A care home was recently in the spotlight following visits from the Care Quality Commission.

There were problems at the home including staff shortages and the care home manager left at short notice. One of the nurses, who is a GMB member, was then made Acting Deputy Manager.

As a result of its inspections, the CQC rated the care home as poor and the GMB member was referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the body which regulates nurses.

Following long delays as a result of the pandemic, the NMC have now exonerated the GMB member saying that she has no case to answer.

In coming to its decision, the NMC held that there were widespread pre-existing problems with the care home, which were present well before the GMB member became Acting Deputy Manager. Moreover, any problems at the home were also the responsibility of others, not least the manager of the home, who had left.

The NMC said, “We determine this based on the lack of clarity about your role, the lack of specifics regarding errors said to be made and the lack of explanation regarding the roles and responsibilities of the management teams, past and present, before and after the CQC inspections.”

This was largely due to the care home seconding the GMB member to the Acting Deputy Manager role in a hurry without providing her with the necessary information required. The state that the home was in at the time meant that she was essentially being set up to fail.

The NMC went on to acknowledge that the GMB member was not supported and was given too much work.

A witness said that the GMB member was treated unfairly and her workload kept being added to without her being given the time to complete the previous task that she had been set.

The GMB member had also had a long and successful career while previously working at another care home and there were no issues in relation to her competence.

Jennifer Richardson, GMB appointed lawyer from Blackfords Solicitors, who acted for the GMB member said, “It’s a shame that this GMB member had to be put through such a stressful process but at least we’ve managed to stop it going any further. She could not have gotten to this stage without GMB support. I know it meant the world to her having the GMB behind her.”

Declan MacIntyre, GMB Regional Organiser, said, “The catastrophic effects of under-funding in the care sector are being revealed by the coronavirus pandemic. We can expect to see more cases like this where individuals are blamed for government cuts. Trade union membership is more important than ever for working people.”

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Enquiries: Declan MacIntyre, Regional Organiser, GMB Southern Region, email: