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Should this nurse be reinstated?

Coachloads of Merseysiders are going to tomorrow's massive march in Manchester to reinstate an NHS whistleblower. Are they wasting their time?

Published on November 23rd 2007.


Should this nurse be reinstated?

The story
In November, Manchester community nurse Karen Reissman was sacked for criticising her NHS Trust over cuts in mental health care provision.

Ms Reissmann, a union official who led a series of protests against changes at the Manchester Mental health Care Trust, was suspended 20 weeks earlier on the same day she was notified that she had been promoted to specialist practitioner - the most senior grade of nurse below management.

She was accused of “seriously adversely affecting the reputation of the trust” by speaking to the media.

Unison, the union representing Ms Reissmann, say she was sacked for comments about employment rights in a trade magazine interview in January.

They also found she had breached the terms of her suspension by telling the media she had been suspended and why, and by protesting her innocence and allowing the press to print "misleading statements".

Unison, have acted in protest, with strikes at what they see as an

unjustified dismissal and a point of principle about the gagging of a hard-working and respected public servant.

Tomorrow, there will be a massive demonstration in Manchester in support of Reissman and a laarge contingent of Merseysiders are attending. It will start at 1pm from the Peace Gardens, in St Peter's Square, behind Manchester Town Hall.

So, was the sacking a set back for freedom of speech or a correct reading of employment procedures?

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