By Maximilian Clarke
A former NHS divisional director has received £933,000 in compensation for the racial discrimination and unfair dismissal at the hands of Central Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.
Elliot Browne’s 34-year long career in the NHS came to end in 2008, following the trust’s ‘discriminatory treatment from 2007 onwards’, an employment tribunal has ruled.
Today (Monday, 9 January) Unite, Mr Browne’s union, called for the trust ‘to tackle its culture of institutionalised racism’.
The tribunal awarded Mr Browne, aged 55, whose health was ‘severely affected’ by his treatment in the workplace, a total of £933,115 for unfair dismissal, aggravated damages, and loss of earnings and pension. He had already received £71,415 from the trust.
"It is scandalous that this kind of behaviour and culture should exist in an organisation whose prime purpose is to care for others," said Browne.
“Unfortunately, the case of Elliot Browne is not unique within the NHS,” said Rachael Maskell, Unite’s Head of Health. “Discrimination and harassment in the health service is all too common from our experience as a trade union and needs to be rooted out.’
“NHS employers need to establish comprehensive and effective training programmes and human resources’ functions so that there will be no repetition of this case. Dignity at work needs to be a reality.”
Keith Hutson, Unite regional officer added: “This is a well deserved outcome for Elliot Browne. It reflects the pain, suffering and grief that he was put through by his employer, Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.”
“Hopefully this will act as a catalyst for his former employer to face up to their obligations in tackling the culture of institutionalised racism that they seem happy to endorse and that is underpinned by a cavalier attitude in their management style”.
“The expenditure of almost a million pounds of taxpayers’ money could have been avoided, if this employer had just followed its own policies and procedures from the outset, instead of believing that NHS funds are there to defend the indefensible, rather than deliver patient care.”
“The systematic intimidation and bullying of a single individual, the like I have never seen in my career as a union regional officer, was breathtaking and callous.”
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