Basildon Hospital Comes Under Further Fire

Basildon Hospital Comes Under Further Fire

Problems are continuing at the Basildon Hospital in Essex which recently made national headlines after being slammed by inspectors for high death rates. The Hospital has since been paired with London’s Royal Free Hospital in a bid to improve the nursing standards however the hospital is set to continue to hit the headlines due to the alleged conduct of one of its nurses.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council are currently hearing misconduct charges against Nurse Abiola Olukemi Apara who is accused of treating an NHS staff member and colleague like her own personal servant. Among the many allegations against her are that she forced her co-worker to drive her to Ikea take her car in for an MOT install a washing machine at her home and she is even alleged to have instructed the colleague to call in sick for his afternoon shift on Christmas Day 2005 so that he could drive her to London and back.
From an Employment Law perspective this is an interesting case. Many of the alleged acts occurred between September 2004 and January 2007. Therefore on the information provided so far I would question why there is a hearing at this stage? It could well be that these matters have only recently been reported and come to light or alternatively that the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s process has taken this long to get to a final hearing.
On the information available if it was the Hospital looking to discipline Miss Olukemi Apara it would have to be doing this on the basis that this information had only recently come to light. In line with the ACAS code on disciplinary and grievances case law dictates that in order for a disciplinary process to be held fairly there must not be an unreasonable delay in the bringing of the proceedings. It certainly would be an “unreasonable delay” if the Hospital were aware of these allegations at the time but did nothing until now. However it is worth remembering that it is not the Hospital bringing these proceedings but the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
If you are currently in or facing disciplinary charges by either your employer or a professional body which could impact upon your ability to carry on your chosen profession please contact our dedicated Employment Department who will be happy to discuss your situation with you.
Written by
Ian Abel

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