• Amin Abdullah killed himself in February 2016 after being dismissed by Imperial College Healthcare Trust
  • Independent investigation was ordered by health minister Philip Dunne
  • Recommendations could apply across the NHS

Imperial College Healthcare Trust has appointed Verita to carry out an investigation into its disciplinary processes following the suicide of a nurse.

The independent investigators will consider how the trust treated Charing Cross Hospital nurse Amin Abdullah, who died after setting himself on fire outside Kensington Palace in February 2016.

The investigation was ordered by health minister Philip Dunne after concerns over the trust’s handling of Mr Abdullah’s case were raised by his partner.

A statement on the trust website said the investigation would review the process and subsequent dismissal of Mr Abdullah.

A terms of reference document said: “The aim of the independent investigation is to establish firstly, whether there was any failure or weakness in the process and governance regarding the disciplinary procedure and what action was taken as a result and secondly if there is any learning for the trust and the wider NHS and what that learning might be.

“Any learning captured will be made available to the NHS as a whole via NHS Improvement and other national bodies as appropriate.”

Mr Abdullah, who won an award for his clinical work in 2014, was suspended in September 2015 after he signed a petition and sent a letter of support for a colleague following a complaint by a patient.

An inquest into his death heard delays in the disciplinary process caused him anxiety. He was dismissed in December 2015 and a month later he voluntarily admitted himself to the St Charles Hospital mental health unit in London.

On 8 February 2016, he left the unit unescorted and killed himself on the grounds of Kensington Palace. The coroner said Mr Abdullah “killed himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed”.

Mr Abdullah’s partner Terry Skitmore said: “I welcome the announcement of an independent inquiry into Amin’s treatment by Imperial College Healthcare Trust and the fact that the inquiry will also take a wider look at how improvements can be introduced across the NHS as a whole.

“I hope that the recommendations of the inquiry report will lead to immediate and meaningful changes in the NHS, so that what happened to Amin can never again happen to any NHS employee.

“Nothing can bring Amin back, but I am determined to do all I can to make sure his story is listened to by those who have the power to change things in the future.”

A trust statement said the investigation would be completed by early 2018. It said: “The trust was deeply shocked and saddened by Mr Abdullah’s death. Conclusions and recommendations from the investigation will be published so that any lessons learned can be applied across the NHS.”