Protesters accused Whipps Cross Hospital’s operating trust of bullying after the failed dismissal appeal of sacked long-term employee and union rep Charlotte Monro.

Representatives from three health service campaign groups confronted Barts Health NHS Trust health board members and demanded Ms Monro’s reinstatement at a meeting on Wednesday at Newham University Hospital.

They claim the trust was “determined to get” Ms Monro, a moving and handling co-ordinator at the Leytonstone hospital, who was dismissed for serious misconduct in October after working at Whipps for 26 years.

Reps from We are Waltham Forest - Save Our NHS, Newham Save Our NHS and Tower Hamlets Keep Our NHS Public read a statement saying: “The government states that it wants staff to feel safe to speak out if they see or hear anything that could compromise patient care.

“Barts Health says it subscribes to the same policy. Yet Charlotte Monro has been sacked, we say because of her work as a trade union rep, not for the main issue she was originally dismissed for – speaking to her local scrutiny committee.

“As a trade union rep she had consulted some of her members on what you claimed was a confidential plan and for assault charges she had not disclosed, dredged up from 30 years ago in protests which resulted in encounters with the police.

“In other words you were determined to get her.”

A Unison spokesman said: "The local trade union Unison Whipps Cross branch believes the sacking was motivated out of a desire to create a climate of fear amongst the workforce. This was at the time when the hospital was preparing for reductions to pay and conditions for members.

"In particular following the Mid Staffs scandal, the sacking can have the dangerous and negative effect of sending out a message to workers that it’s best to keep their mouth shut rather than risk disciplinary action."

Ms Monro was dismissed for failing to disclose previous criminal convictions and breaching confidentiality.

She unsuccessfully appealed her dismissal on Monday.

Barts says the reasons for her dismissal were for personal misconduct and “categorically” not for her union work.