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Health trust’s apology for sacked nurse who set himself on fire outside Buckingham Palace

Amin Abdullah was working at Charing Cross Hospital when he was wrongly dismissed

10 August, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Amin Abdullah was 41 when he died in February 2016

THE partner of a nurse who set himself on fire outside Buckingham Palace after wrongly losing his job is setting up a memorial award in his name.

Terence Skitmore wants to fund five years of awards for NHS nurses who show compassion to their colleagues.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust chiefs apologised unreservedly yesterday (Thursday) saying the dismissal of nurse Amin Abdullah, 41, “should never happened”. An independent report, commissioned by the trust, said he had been “treated unfairly” and he had been “let down” by disciplinary process failures.

Mr Skitmore said: “Amin knew that once he was sacked his career as a nurse was effectively over and he would never work again. 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.”

He has set up an online fundraising page that will give one-off grants to compassionate staff and also support healthcare staff and their families who are in distress. The awards could also “fund any further costs in our search for justice… to prevent such tragedies as that of Amin happening again”.

Mr Abdullah died in February 2016 after becoming depressed and killing himself in a dramatic petrol flameball outside the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The trust, which runs St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, this week published a full report of an independent investigation into the case.

The report said Mr Abdullah was working for Charing Cross Hospital in 2015 when he was told he was being investigated for being “dishonest”.

No more detail of the charge was disclosed to him and, after a three-month delay in proceedings, he had become extremely stressed. He was then suspended after signing a petition in support of a colleague who was facing an investigation over a patient complaint. This led to the nurse being charged by the trust with writing an “untrue letter” and not using the correct complaints procedure and dismissed on December 21 2015.

Trust chief executive Professor Tim Orchard said: “I very much regret that Amin is not here to be offered an apology for the mistakes that we made and a personal commitment from me that we will act on all of the learning from his case. I have offered that apology and commitment to Amin’s partner.”

He said there would be an “overhaul” of procedure after the independent report recommended several changes including getting senior staff unrelated to a particular disciplinary case to decide whether to continue formal proceedings. All staff in disciplinary cases will now be offered pastoral care, the trust said.

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