Charlotte Monro says her treatment reflects growing climate of intimidation at Barts Trust

Charlotte Monro, centre, had been praised as one of Whipps Cross' greatest champions.

Charlotte Monro, centre, had been praised as one of Whipps Cross' greatest champions.

First published in Waltham Forest
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A health campaigner has hit back at the hospital trust which dismissed her for serious misconduct.

Charlotte Monro, chairwoman of Unison’s Waltham Forest health branch, and a moving and handling co-ordinator at Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonston, lost an appeal against her dismissal from her role as moving and handling co-ordinator at Whipps Cross University Hospital on Monday.

Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the Leytonstone hospital, said it sacked Ms Monro for failing to disclose previous criminal convictions and breaching confidentiality.

But Ms Monro says the trust's comments about her are a “measure of the depth to which they will sink in order to justify their narrow self-interest”.

“The way I have been treated reflects the growing atmosphere of intimidation within our local health trust,” she added.

“This vilification of my character, of the contribution to staff and patient safety I have made over 26 years of work at Whipps Cross and of my commitment to defending our local health services sadly speaks volumes about the nature of those in whose hands the leadership of our health services now lies.”

Ms Monro was formally dismissed for "unauthorised dissemination" of pre-consultation information outside her union role, the trust said.

It is claimed this led to “misinformation, unnecessary confusion and anxiety” among staff.

Barts Health also claims Ms Monro failed to disclose criminal convictions – two of which resulted in prison sentences.

But she says the action against her was initiated for speaking to councillors – a claim subsequently quashed at appeal - and hospital staff in her capacity as union rep about concerns over the hospital.

She says she is adamant she communicated no misinformation and that the trust is causing distress to staff through changes imposed while attempting to save nearly £80million by April.

“The action Barts Health initiated against me and has absolutely been for my trade union activities,” she added.

Ms Monro said she has received support from hundreds of people who wrote letters and signed statements expressing anger and disbelief over the action taken against her.

According to Ms Monro, it was only towards the end of a trust investigation into her that an allegation was made about not declaring criminal convictions from more than 35 years ago.

These were from the 1970s, during encounters with police while campaigning against injustice, she says.

“For the trust to give the impression that I am violent and a risk after 35 years of unblemished record in the NHS is insidious and ridiculous,” she said.

She added that when she began work at Whipps Cross in 1987, criminal record checks (CRB) were not required.

“The first time I was ever required to provide a CRB was this year and I immediately informed the trust of what it was likely to reveal.”

A Barts spokeswoman said: “We would like to stress, categorically, that the reasons for Ms Monro’s dismissal were for personal misconduct and not as a result of her union role.”

Comments (8)

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5:41pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Thunderbird4 says...

The Honest John Barts, were unable to find the doctor who assaulted me. The agency doctor was unable to sign his name, so they did not know what agency he came from. These Honest John's, are paid to run a hospital; they do so by employing people who are poorly qualified, if at all, and some can't even write. I expect the £80 million saving will go into Honest John's trough. Hospitals are there for the use of the people who require medical attention; management seem to think it's for their personal benefit.
The Honest John Barts, were unable to find the doctor who assaulted me. The agency doctor was unable to sign his name, so they did not know what agency he came from. These Honest John's, are paid to run a hospital; they do so by employing people who are poorly qualified, if at all, and some can't even write. I expect the £80 million saving will go into Honest John's trough. Hospitals are there for the use of the people who require medical attention; management seem to think it's for their personal benefit. Thunderbird4
  • Score: -3

8:55pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Varney The Onion says...

Ms Munro is just aggrieved that she will have to find a real job now that the Tax Payer will no longer be paying her to Rabble Rouse or stitch bedsheets together in order to fashion crude banners.
Ms Munro is just aggrieved that she will have to find a real job now that the Tax Payer will no longer be paying her to Rabble Rouse or stitch bedsheets together in order to fashion crude banners. Varney The Onion
  • Score: 0

9:04pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Upshirehorse says...

She seems to be blaming everyone but herself having gained employment through deception.
She seems to be blaming everyone but herself having gained employment through deception. Upshirehorse
  • Score: 12

9:25pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Helen, Walthamstow says...

Varney The Onion wrote:
Ms Munro is just aggrieved that she will have to find a real job now that the Tax Payer will no longer be paying her to Rabble Rouse or stitch bedsheets together in order to fashion crude banners.
Cornbeefur?
[quote][p][bold]Varney The Onion[/bold] wrote: Ms Munro is just aggrieved that she will have to find a real job now that the Tax Payer will no longer be paying her to Rabble Rouse or stitch bedsheets together in order to fashion crude banners.[/p][/quote]Cornbeefur? Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 1

9:40pm Wed 8 Jan 14

MorrisHickey says...

Helen, Walthamstow wrote:
Varney The Onion wrote:
Ms Munro is just aggrieved that she will have to find a real job now that the Tax Payer will no longer be paying her to Rabble Rouse or stitch bedsheets together in order to fashion crude banners.
Cornbeefur?
Or Billy Yearache? Or Fresh Gravy?
[quote][p][bold]Helen, Walthamstow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Varney The Onion[/bold] wrote: Ms Munro is just aggrieved that she will have to find a real job now that the Tax Payer will no longer be paying her to Rabble Rouse or stitch bedsheets together in order to fashion crude banners.[/p][/quote]Cornbeefur?[/p][/quote]Or Billy Yearache? Or Fresh Gravy? MorrisHickey
  • Score: 0

11:19am Thu 9 Jan 14

Robert19 says...

When you think of what she was dismissed for it is pretty tenuous. If she was that bad why employ her for 26 years including her winning Employee of the Year in recent years? I know that jobs such as this do not come under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act but if as she says her convictions were for political protest and she says she indicated to them on her first CRB check that there were criminal convictions. They are desperately digging for dirt.
What is she supposed to do if there is information about possible, nay probable, cuts. She has a responsibility to her members to defend jobs and act in their best interest.
She has been stitched up. Hopefully UNISON will take it a stage further through an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal. I have increasing concern about what is driving the NHS these days and a lot of it isn't about patient care.
When you think of what she was dismissed for it is pretty tenuous. If she was that bad why employ her for 26 years including her winning Employee of the Year in recent years? I know that jobs such as this do not come under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act but if as she says her convictions were for political protest and she says she indicated to them on her first CRB check that there were criminal convictions. They are desperately digging for dirt. What is she supposed to do if there is information about possible, nay probable, cuts. She has a responsibility to her members to defend jobs and act in their best interest. She has been stitched up. Hopefully UNISON will take it a stage further through an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal. I have increasing concern about what is driving the NHS these days and a lot of it isn't about patient care. Robert19
  • Score: 8

11:27am Thu 9 Jan 14

Robert19 says...

Upshirehorse wrote:
She seems to be blaming everyone but herself having gained employment through deception.
It is down to the employer to institute checks on staff for criminal convictions. The fact that she said she had her first CRB check a year ago says a lot about lax management in the Trust and its many predecessors. So where is the deception?
[quote][p][bold]Upshirehorse[/bold] wrote: She seems to be blaming everyone but herself having gained employment through deception.[/p][/quote]It is down to the employer to institute checks on staff for criminal convictions. The fact that she said she had her first CRB check a year ago says a lot about lax management in the Trust and its many predecessors. So where is the deception? Robert19
  • Score: 3

2:06pm Thu 9 Jan 14

karenogil76 says...

If they put as much effort into looking after patients and ward cleaning. As they have about this dismissal. I wouldn't be having to travel to Chelsea and Westminster Maternity Ward from E17. As I feel to frightened to attend my local hospital.
If they put as much effort into looking after patients and ward cleaning. As they have about this dismissal. I wouldn't be having to travel to Chelsea and Westminster Maternity Ward from E17. As I feel to frightened to attend my local hospital. karenogil76
  • Score: 2

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