Union members have reacted angrily to the suspension of a senior representative at Whipps Cross Hospital.

Charlotte Monro, chairperson for Unison’s Waltham Forest health branch at the Leytonstone hospital, has been barred from representing members at a Barts Health Trust staff consultative group pending an investigation into her trade union activity.

Union members say staff are being disenfranchised at a time when Barts Health has announced financial concerns that could threaten jobs and the future of Whipps Cross.

Unison Branch Secretary, Len Hockey, said health workers and campaigners are outraged at the news that Barts Health is threatening disciplinary action against a long standing trade union activist at Whipps Cross.

“Charlotte has a record over many years of campaigning in defence of health workers and health services, including to save Whipps Cross Hospital, and is widely respected in the hospital and local community,” he added.

Mr Hockey said Ms Monro is the public service union’s main link to the trust-wide body for the branch at Whipps Cross and barring her from attending disenfranchises members at the hospital.

Jim Fagan, of We Are Waltham Forest Saving Our NHS campaign, said his group were fully supportive of Ms Monro.

“We know Charlotte as a long standing health activist, somebody who stands up to the NHS,” he said.

“We’re very concerned that she should be suspended from her consultation role in the union on behalf of Unison members at Whipps Cross at the time they’re facing these cuts.

“We back Unison’s call to lift the threat of disciplinary action and to re-instate her into the consultative body.”

A statement issued by Barts Health said it would be inappropriate to comment on the specific aspects of Ms Monro’s conduct while the internal investigation has yet to be concluded.

It added that Unison has ensured staff are fully represented at partnership forums and that Ms Monro remains a trust employee and is still representing individual members of staff.