A psychologist who claimed she faced detriment at the hands of an NHS trust after whistleblowing about patient care has lost her case.
Psychologist Hayley Dare claimed she was bullied at West London Mental Health Trust when she made allegations about poor patient care and staff welfare.
But the chair at Watford Employment Tribunal, Ian Henry, today said Dr Dare was prompted to make the claims by being “particularly distressed”’ when she thought she was to have six of her psychology sessions cut, which would have had a significant impact on her job.
“These were the factors directing the claimant’s actions,” he said, adding: “The tribunal finds that the claimant, in making her disclosure when she did, had not done so in good faith.
“The claimant has not made a protected disclosure… The tribunal accordingly dismisses the claimant’s claims.”
Dr Dare told the tribunal: “It was about patient care. Nobody in their right mind would go though any of this for their own motives.”
Dr Dare’s case was that she had been victimised after raising concerns about two patients who had died whilst being in the care of the trust.
The trust said it had investigated both cases and her concerns were unfounded.
Rachael Moench, director of workforce and organisational development for West London Mental Health Trust, said: “The trust is very pleased with the decision of the employment tribunal.
“We take our duty of care to servIce users, patients and members of staff extremely seriously and when concerns are raised, we act on them promptly.
“Our whistleblowing policy protects members of staff who raise concerns through this route.”
Ian Scott, representing the trust, accused Dr Dare of enjoying “conspiracy theories” during the tribunal.
Dr Dare was targeted with an anonymous threatening poison pen letter just weeks after she raised fears about a culture of poor practice within the trust’s forensic clinical unit.
The tribunal heard she was also the target of alleged bullying by two of her bosses, causing her to suffer depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
She launched the case against the trust for detriment she said she suffered as a result of her whistleblowing early last year.
The trust is the largest in the country and is responsible for high-security hospital Broadmoor as well as low secure units and local services.
After the hearing, Dr Dare said: “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.”
Dr Dare said the tribunal’s ruling and reference to the six sessions being cut “misrepresents what happened”’. She said: “It was really about clinical concerns.”
She said her next move is to find a job, a task she thinks will be difficult, “which is another reason why I’d never do this’”.