West Midlands ambulance paramedic and UNISON steward Stuart Gardner has received an apology after Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust banned him from its hospitals.
A joint statement from UNISON and the trust today said: “UNISON and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust have agreed that the trust does not have the authority to exclude an individual paramedic from its premises and the paramedic has received an apology for the suggestion that he should be excluded.
“UNISON and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust are pleased this matter has been resolved amicably.”
The statement continued: “A&E departments in Worcestershire, in common with the rest of the country, are experiencing high levels of demand and rely on all health partners working together to care for patients.
“UNISON and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust are committed to providing high standards of care for all patients.”
For the union, UNISON West Midlands regional secretary Ravi Subramanian added: “I am pleased to see that the trust accepts that it made a mistake in excluding our rep Stuart from their site.
“I am incredibly proud of Stuart Gardner for the professional way he has conducted himself.
“He did the right thing by trying raise his concerns privately, but when he was rebuffed he felt he had no alternative but to whistle-blow.
“He showed courage by whistleblowing and he did it in a dignified way. And he’s shown determination to get through this despite the victimisation he has received.
“He is a credit to UNISON, West Midlands Ambulance Service and himself.”
Mr Gardner had raised concerns about patients being treated in corridors at a hospital, saying that conditions were the worst he had seen in his 26 years of experience.
Mr Subramanian pledged: “Any UNISON member who whistle-blows can expect the full backing of the union.
“We know front-line NHS staff are working flat out in difficult conditions and UNISON now looks forward to working in partnership with the trust management to address the issues in A&E.”