Health union MSF is calling for a Department of Health investigation into allegations of victimisation of trade union members at Bedford Hospital trust.

The call follows the suspension last month of Monica Carmichael, manager of the cardiology department and secretary of the joint staff-side committee. MSF says her suspension follows the departure of Royal College of Nursing and Unison representatives.

The trust confirmed that Ms Carmichael had been suspended while an investigation into bullying and harassment allegations takes place.

MSF says no staff have raised complaints about her. But she had complained about the treatment of female staff by a senior cardiac consultant and about being undermined as a manager.

In a statement, trust chief executive Ken Williams said allegations of victimisation have 'no foundation whatsoever'.

'There are concerns relating to the performance of this member of staff.

Her status as a union representative has not been called into question, ' a trust statement added.