A BRIXHAM nurse has won a four and a half year battle to clear her name after blowing the whistle on a Torquay nursing home.In a unique ‘David and Goliath’ court case, 48-year-old Vasanta Suddock represented herself in the High Court and won her appeal against the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Ms Suddock faced being struck off in July this year after a number of charges of professional misconduct against her were proved.
But she has successfully appealed in London’s High Court and the NMC panel’s decision has been thrown out.
She was also cleared by the Independent Safeguarding Authority and by Devon and Cornwall Police.
Speaking after her name was cleared, Ms Suddock said for the last four and half years life has been a nightmare for her.
She said: “This has affected my whole life. Life has been a nightmare for me and I have not been able to go out in public.
“I have had lots of support from friends and family and I have managed to keep my house, but it has been a struggle as I have been treated unfairly for the last four and a half years.
“I have had to represent myself all the way through the employment tribunal, the NMC tribunal and at the High Court in London because I couldn’t afford lawyers.
“The judge said it was a unique case both in the fact I had represented myself and succeeded and because I had been subject to such horrendous treatment. That was why she quashed those very serious allegations.”
Ms Suddock, a qualified registered general nurse, worked as the matron and manager at the Warberries Nursing Home in Torquay for 16 years, until the home went into administration in August 2011.
She then become concerned about the level of care at the home. When the new administration’s managers ignored her concerns she acted as a whistleblower to the Torbay Care Trust. After that, false allegations of bullying were made against Ms Suddock.
She was suspended and unfairly dismissed by the administrators. An employment tribunal in April 2012 confirmed she had been unfairly dismissed.
Justice Geraldine Andrews has now quashed the majority of the allegations.
She said: “The panel failed to appreciate there is evidence which strongly supports Ms Suddock’s assertion that someone, acting in bad faith, has set out to ruin her hitherto unquestioned reputation and her career.”
In respect to the most serious charges of improper care and bullying, Justice Andrews quashed all the serious charges against her.
A statement from the current owners of the home confirmed they purchased the home after Ms Suddock had been initially dismissed by the previous owners.
Apology from The Mirror:
17:26, 22 DEC 2015 UPDATED 17:27, 22 DEC 2015
Regarding our article “‘Constipation-obsessed’ care home matron struck off for giving residents laxatives SIX times a day”, which reported a Nursing and Midwifery disciplinary hearing
In our article “‘Constipation-obsessed’ care home matron struck off for giving residents laxatives SIX times a day” when reporting a Nursing and Midwifery disciplinary hearing into Vasanta Suddock, we did not make clear that she was cleared by the tribunal of any improper conduct relating to a patient’s perforated bowel.
We apologise for this error.
Furthermore, we are happy to report that her appeal to the High Court was successful and she was cleared of the claims reported by mirror.co.uk, the striking off order was cancelled against her, and she will be given a further opportunity to defend the remaining claims, which she strongly denies, in a future hearing if the NMC decides to proceed, after a warning was issues by the Judge that all matters would be struck out if the NMC do not abide by her recommendations.