By ANTHONY JOSEPH FOR MAILONLINE 1 August 2016
- Pauline Lewin accused Phil Morley of bullying after she was suspended
- Mrs Lewin’s complaint was ruled out due to insufficient evidence
- Her actions were the catalyst to unseat Mr Morley from his position
- She was too traumatised to return to work until a settlement was reached
- Now she has received £257,000 in damages which includes holiday pay
An NHS whistleblower, whose 40-year career came to an end when she accused a hospital chief executive of bullying, has been awarded a payout of more than £250,000.
Pauline Lewin accused the former boss of Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Phil Morley, of bullying after she was suspended for using the wrong guidelines on a redundancy settlement.
Mrs Lewin, who was a director of estates and facilities at the time, lodged an official complaint but it was ruled that there was insufficient evidence.
However sources say her actions were the catalyst to unseat Mr Morley as his departure from the trust came in April 2014 – just weeks before the CQC uncovered a ‘culture of bullying’ at his hospitals.
Mrs Lewin revealed she was too traumatised to return to work until a settlement was reached – and she retired in July 2015.
Now she has received £257,000 in damages which include holiday pay, salary, a contractual payment over the severance of her contract and a non-contractual payment of £120,000.
Speaking about the payout, Trust chairman Mike Ramsden said: ‘We felt, overall, that the right thing to do was to draw a line under some of the difficult problems of the past.
‘Sometimes, payments taking into account enhancements and entitlements and that can be a lot of money over a period of time. It’s not all one cheque, it’s ongoing and we are mindful of our responsibility over the use of taxpayers’ money.
‘None of us want to see an offer made at all – we want to recruit staff who will do a great job and stay with us but, occasionally, this happens.’
Mrs Lewin was on the Department of Health’s Estates Policy Advisory Committee and was the Northern and Yorkshire representative on the National Council for HEFMA – the professional body for estates and facilities management within the NHS.
However she was suspended by Mr Morley in July 2013 after she was accused of breaching new guidelines over a redundancy offer to a member of staff – although evidence showed the guidelines were only issued after her suspension.
While Mrs Lewin was too traumatised to go back to work she was supported by Hull MP and former Health Secretary Alan Johnson and health union Unison.
A former key ally of Mr Morley, chief of workforce and organisational development Jayne Adamson, also received a pay-off of more than £115K following her redundancy.
Jayne was in charge of the 8,000-plus staff at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital.
Sources say her actions were the catalyst to unseat Mr Morley as his departure from the trust came in April 2014 – just weeks before the CQC uncovered a ‘culture of bullying’ at his hospitals
A series of investigations began early in 2014 just before Mr Morley’s departure – and weeks before a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report uncovered a ‘culture of bullying’ at both hospitals.
A KPMG report revealed Jayne had been awarded £8K ‘relocation expenses’ by the trust when she took up her post in Hull in 2011 – eight months after Mr Morley took over as chief executive.
But she never moved house – and was later forced to pay the back the money.
Mrs Adamson was made redundant at the end of 2014 following the arrival of new senior staff members.
The trust’s annual report shows Mrs Adamson received a salary of £34,944, £10,337 in lieu of annual leave and £70,000 in compulsory redundancy.
The trust paid out £1.2m in exit packages after staff quit their jobs – and Mrs Adamson was one of 18 compulsory redundancies.
The annual report states: ‘Following a board restructure, the post of chief of infrastructure and development no longer exists.’