Agency nurse FIRED for simply doing her job
Agency nurse Vivienne Jones is still waiting for answers – seven months after being suspended without explanation.
She is the second nurse to have effectively lost her job while working with the same vulnerable patient as whistleblower Kevin Murray.
Vivienne, a registered nurse who worked shifts for healthcare and homecare services provider Trackars, says she was suspended from all work with the company after false accusations were leveled at her .
She says she was forced to find work elsewhere after being suspended in April, and that she still hasn’t been formally told what the accusations were – even though she now works for a different agency.
The revelation raises further questions regarding the safety of the patient at the centre of both nurse-turned-whistleblowers’ claims, who can only be identified as ‘Patient M’. Vivienne told the Sunday World: “I had worked on the care package for around two years – the same one that Kevin worked on for a different agency.
“Then, on April 21 of this year, I got a casual phone call telling me I’d been suspended from [Patient M’s] package.
“When I asked why I’d been suspended, I was simply told that allegations had been made against me.”
Trackers asked for a meeting to “discuss” her position but refused to outline the allegations against her.
“When I asked for the allegations in writing, which is standard procedure, I didn’t receive them.
“Then on April 24, I received another informal phone call from an employee of Trackars saying that I’d been suspended from all work with the agency.”
Now Vivienne says that her treatment by the Trackars agency is tantamount to constructive dismissal, but having found work elsewhere, she says her relationship didn’t end there.
“I was shocked and horrified then when I was approached in a supermarket near my home by a senior executive with Trackars, who began to question me and challenge me about my private work situation as shoppers went about buying their groceries,” she said.
She said she felt embarrassed and humiliated.
Ms Jones’ treatment raises further questions regarding the treatment of nurses in Northern Ireland who are concerned for the safety of patients they have been tasked to look after.
Back in April of last year we revealed how whistleblower Kevin Murray championed the cause of whistleblowers in Northern Ireland after he lost his agency job with the A24 Group, which has since pulled out of Northern Ireland.
Kevin worked on the same case as Ms Jones, and when he raised issues regarding the treatment of Patient M, supplying nursing notes to back up his claims, he lost his shifts.
We made repeated attempts to contact the senior Trackars executive both by email and telephone.
We received confirmation our email had been read and we left voice messages. But received no formal response. .
We contacted both the Downpatrick and Stranmillis offices of Trackars on many separate occasions over the course of three weeks and were told on each there was no one available to answer our queries.