By Lucy Ashton
A former nurse has been awarded compensation after an under-fire health board listened in to one of her phone calls.
Lesley Roberts has been a thorn in the side of Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board (NHSGGC) as she battled for the rights of her fellow nurses during Covid.
As a union and health and safety rep at Inverclyde Hospital, Greenock, which is widely used for patients in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute, she raised complaints about staff being refused the right to wash their uniforms at work to prevent taking Covid into their homes and raised grievances about PPE issues.
Lesley told the Daily Record has maintained masks given to nurses were not fit for purpose and the latest figures showing 2400 Scots nurses have long Covid indicate some truth in her claims.
NHSGGC bosses refused to allow Lesley’s colleagues to launder uniforms at work despite it being Scottish Government guidance at the time.
When Lesley fought the issue, she claims her own nursing registration was threatened by an NHS manager.
Lesley said: “I was astounded at some of the goings on. A corrupt and extremely nasty employer became an absolute monster to ensure the silence and obeisance of all staff.
“While the staff were terrified and fully aware that the surgical type two masks did not protect them against a deadly virus, the behaviours of the management was appalling in their quest to silence them.
“But while I was fighting for adequate laundering facilities, in the nurse manager’s quest to ensure my silence, he threatened my clinical role.
“I was acting as a rep and therefore protected under due legislation. Not content to threaten me once over the phone, he wanted to meet me face to face to bully me further. He deemed my actions to be professional nursing misconduct issues.
“He tried again and phoned back. This time, however, unknown to me, he had someone on the call with him to ensure that there was a ‘plan in place to deal with this’.”
Lesley, who says 13 managers had “an email chain in their quest to ensure that I was silenced at all and any cost” has been awarded £750 in compensation.
She reported her concerns to the Information Commissioners Office and NHSGGC was found to have acted inappropriately and not given her the information she was legally entitled to.
The board and Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership were found to be unable to prove they acted fairly, transparently and within the law.
A spokesman from NHSGGC said: “There is no truth to claims that the call was illegal, or that there was any campaign against this person.”