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Nurse’s suicide prompts trust to review its disciplinary processes

Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust hopes to learn lessons from investigation.
Charing Cross Hospital

The death of an award-winning nurse who set light to himself outside Kensington Palace has prompted an independent investigation.

Amin Abdullahs former employer Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust has appointed independent consultancy Verita to review its disciplinary processes.

Mr Abdullah was dismissed on 21 December 2015 after writing a letter of support, which was co-signed by 16 members of staff, for a colleague involved in a patient complaint. He took his own life on 8 February 2016.

Mental health decline

An inquest earlier this year heard there was a 93-day gap between the initial meeting and the disciplinary hearing, during which time Mr Abdullahs mental health

The death of an award-winning nurse who set light to himself outside Kensington Palace has prompted an independent investigation.


Amin Abdullah was dismissed from Charing Cross Hospital in 2015. Picture: Alamy

Amin Abdullah’s former employer Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust has appointed independent consultancy Verita to review its disciplinary processes.

Mr Abdullah was dismissed on 21 December 2015 after writing a letter of support, which was co-signed by 16 members of staff, for a colleague involved in a patient complaint. He took his own life on 8 February 2016.

Mental health decline

An inquest earlier this year heard there was a 93-day gap between the initial meeting and the disciplinary hearing, during which time Mr Abdullah’s mental health deteriorated.

In January 2016 he admitted himself to a mental health unit at St Charles Hospital in London. On 8 February, seven weeks after losing his job, he left the unit unescorted and took his life. The coroner said Mr Abdullah killed himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

Imperial Healthcare said the investigation had been commissioned in consultation with NHS Improvement, the Department of Health and Mr Abdullah’s representatives, following the conclusion of the coroner’s inquest.

Learning points

The trust stated: ‘Conclusions and recommendations from the investigation will be published so that any lessons learned can be applied across the NHS.

‘The investigation is expected to be completed and published by early 2018.’

The terms of reference for the investigation will:

  • Determine whether the process in dealing with Mr Abdullah’s case had been fair and conducted in line with the trust’s disciplinary policy.
  • Consider whether the letter Mr Abdullah wrote should have been treated as whistleblowing.
  • Review the handling of a grievance raised by Mr Abdullah on 1 December 2015.
  • Assess the extent to which the trust’s disciplinary processes are aligned with official guidance.
  • Identify whether there are any other learning opportunities for the trust.

Mr Abdullah, who completed his nursing degree at Buckinghamshire New University, was given the Hannah Evans Award for Excellence by the League of Charing Cross Hospital Nurses when he graduated in 2014.

For confidential support on mental health, call the Samaritans on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or visit a Samaritans branch.


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