• Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust is set to be prosecuted over its handling of asbestos in 2012
  • Whistleblowing employee Les Small was dismissed “within minutes” of raising concerns with managers
  • The legal case comes amid wider concerns over the trust’s safety of services

An NHS trust in the West Midlands is to be prosecuted for asbestos failures by the Health and Safety Executive.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust will face prosecution by the health and safety regulator over its handling of asbestos at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in 2012.

HSE began their investigation in 2015 after they were alerted to the issue by former trust employee Les Small who was dismissed within minutes of raising concerns with managers.

Mr Small was employed by the trust to work on the refurbishment of old nursing accommodation at its Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in 2012 but was dismissed after raising concerns about potential asbestos exposure.

The tribunal, which concluded in December 2013, found Mr Small had been dismissed by the trust for the protected disclosure he had made about the asbestos and that this dismissal amounted to detriment.

According to the judgment, Mr Small was dismissed by his manager “within minutes of making the disclosure and receiving a negative response”.

HSJ understands Mr Small is currently in a legal dispute with the trust and the case is ongoing.

The news of a prosecution against the trust comes following multiple concerns over the safety of its services.

Last month the trust was served with two enforcement action notices from the Care Quality Commission which raised concerns about the trust’s emergency and maternity services.

A spokesman for HSE said: HSE is prosecuting Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust. The HSE were informed of incident involving the disturbance of asbestos during the refurbishment of an old nursing accommodation block at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. We are currently awaiting a court date for the first hearing.”

“The trust has been made aware.”

The trust was approached for comment.