Whistleblowing NHS worker to challenge NDA in test case for gagging orders

23 March 2019 – Telegraph

A radiographer who blew the whistle on NHS malpractice will be challenging the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) she was asked to sign, in a hearing which could have major consequences for the future of gagging orders.

In 2012, Sue Allison, 57, reported a string of missed cancer diagnoses and wider concerns about standards of care in a breast screening unit at Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

After raising concerns with a colleague, the pair said they were ostracised and subjected to extensive bullying, eventually leading them to file formal grievance complaints against the Trust.

Mrs Allison claims she was pressured into signing two non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) without legal advice in 2015, preventing her from publicly airing her concerns or bringing future claims against the trust.

At a hearing at Manchester Employment Tribunal on 02.04.2019, her lawyer will now argue it was unlawful to ask her to sign an agreement without legal representation, and will press for it to be revoked.

In 2013, the former Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced that he would ban the gagging of NHS staff in compromise agreements, but a recent Freedom of Information request submitted found the widespread use of such agreements in the health service to silence staff who raise concerns about harassment and bullying.

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