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  1. ITV Report

NHS urged to draw up guidelines for managers following the death of nurse who set himself on fire after losing his job

NHS bodies have been asked to urgently draw up guidance for managers following the death of a nurse who set himself alight after losing his job over a disciplinary matter.

Amin Abdullah, 41, died close to Kensington Palace in London on February 9 2016, weeks after an unfair dismissal process at Charing Cross Hospital.

The Malaysian-born nurse, who became depressed when he was ordered to leave his job, was due to appeal against the decision just two days later.

An independent inquiry identified serious procedural errors throughout the disciplinary process, and found that Mr Abdullah was treated "unfairly" and "very poorly", which severely affected his mental health.

A coroner at Mr Abdullah's inquest ruled that he had "killed himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed".

Amin Abdullah

An advisory group subsequently recommended that NHS bodies review guidance that relates to "the management and conduct of local investigations and disciplinary procedures, to ensure fairness, consistency and alignment".

Following this, NHS Improvement chief people officer Prerana Issar has written to 41 NHS bodies asking them to urgently draw up guidance for members who take on management roles.

Charing Cross Hospital

Mr Abdullah's partner, Terry Skitmore, said: "I am really pleased that professional and regulatory bodies have been asked to draw up guidance for their members, as it was nurses in management roles who played a key role in the terrible injustice that Amin suffered and which ultimately led him to commit suicide after his grossly unfair dismissal.

"When such guidance is introduced, it will help to prevent any such tragedies occurring again in the NHS.

"The NHS lost a truly dedicated nurse in Amin, and we simply cannot afford to treat NHS staff in this way'.

It is hoped the guidance will help create a more just NHS culture, where whistleblowers, BME staff, and other vulnerable workers "are no longer victimised to the point of wanting to leave the NHS" or take their own lives. It is expected that the various sets of guidance will be produced by spring 2020.

Patricia Marquis, Royal College of Nursing director for England, said: "This new guidance can't come a moment too soon.

"Nursing staff in the NHS are often working under intolerable pressure - any nurse who for whatever reason becomes subject to disciplinary procedures deserves to treated with respect and fairness.

"In addition, managers must ensure proceedings do not become unduly protracted, which greatly increases the stress suffered by staff."