Michelle Kelly has won a case for Constructive Dismissal after she was forced to leave her job after “blowing the whistle” about the home care company she worked at, Care4U.
She claimed that the patients were neglected. She had contacted the watchdog, Care Quality Commission (CQC), on several occasions from January of last year with her numerous concerns.
Miss Kelly had been employed at the care at home from October 2009 before she handed in her notice in June last year. She claimed that she was forced to resign after having made several disclosures to the CQC. Miss Kelly had highlighted a string of failings at the home care company including medication and bed sheets running out. She also claimed that the bed sheets for patients suffering with incontinence were often left unchanged for some time. These claims were subsequently investigated by the CQC and were found to be true.
The CQC had considered a number of issues during their investigations and found the worst element to be that of the poor management in ensuring that the standard of care delivered by the staff was sufficient. Having visited the home care company in July last year the commission found that they were seriously failing to safeguard people from abuse and potentials risks of harm.
Miss Kelly claimed she was bullied after raising concerns and felt senior staff were ‘ganging up’ on her, and later ‘pretending’ she had never told them of her worries. She further claimed that “all senior staff involved have lied” about or signed written statements to conceal the fact she had reported concerns to them appropriately. “Nothing and no-one would have stopped me from being here to put my case forward and do the right thing as I firmly believe that service users in their care are still at risk.”
Former Care4U care co-ordinator Johanna Miller, who was accused of bullying by Miss Kelly, denied that she received any complaints. She further added that no service user’s medication had ever run out. In support of her claims she pointed out that no one else had made similar complaints.
In further denial of the allegations Care4U Director Imran Khan, said “Miss Kelly’s attitude towards the firm shows she is intent on our closure for some reason. It seems her personal mission to get us decommissioned.” Unfortunately, for Care4U the judge disagreed with their views describing Miss Kelly as a “caring individual who has demonstrated genuine concerns for service-users”. Her claim for Constructive Dismissal was upheld but judgement was reserved as to compensation.