Karen Reissmann, a community psychiatric
nurse at Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, was found
guilty of gross misconduct last week after a six-day disciplinary
Ms Reissmann was initially suspended
20 weeks ago after the trust alleged she had brought it into disrepute
by her public criticism of local health policies..
Ms Reissmann is a member of Unison’s
national health executive and chair of her branch.
Ms Reissmann, who has led a series
of protests against changes at the trust, was accused of "seriously
adversely affecting the reputation of the trust" by speaking
to the media, including her local paper, the Manchester Evening
Trust bosses say they followed their
disciplinary procedures, according to the MEN.
Ms Reissmann, 41, who has worked
in Manchester for 25 years, told the MEN: "I can't believe
this is happening in 2007 under a Labour government - the day when
staff can no longer stand up for services, for staff and for patient
care is a very sad day.”
Joel Rickman, from the Manchester
mental health patients' forum, told the MEN: "It is very sad.
Many patients support Karen because she is a very good nurse, but
patients have already been shipped to Darlington during a previous
strike, disturbing their care, and we need this resolved before
patients suffer any more."
Sheila Foley, chief executive of
the trust said: "All the way through this, we have followed
the correct processes. I have listened to all the evidence for six
days and I have weighed up that evidence and made my decision.
"I do believe this is the right
decision in the best interest of the trust and the patients we care
for. Dismissal is not a decision taken lightly, is very rare and
only taken when there are very serious concerns."