Whistleblowing nurse sues over sacking

In the media this week is a report by Natasha Bita about one of NPAQ's members and the court action we are supporting her through. 

Fired

"A sacked nurse is suing an aged care home, claiming she was unfairly sacked for complaining about alleged staff shortages."

A NURSE is suing an aged care home that allegedly sacked her for blowing the whistle on resident safety and staff shortages.

In an application filed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane for a hearing in December, nurse Belinda-Lee Fay alleges that CPSM-owned Lodges on George at Kippa Ring fired her after discovering an email in which she proposed to lodge a complaint with the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Ms Fay alleges in the court documents that when she complained to a manager about staff shortages, she was told that “the government has ripped all the money out of aged care’’ and that staffing levels were appropriate “until more funding was put back’’.

She allegedly told a manager that “the lack of staff to manage residents overnight was a legal risk and that a duty of care was not being provided’’.

Ms Fay was dismissed from her casual job in March and is now suing CPSM Care for ongoing “economic losses’’, a fine plus $20,000 in compensation for “shock and distress”.

The documents filed in court include a letter from CPSM Care company director Shane Winterton, stating that Ms Fay had “breached a lawful and reasonable direction to keep the matters raised in our meetings confidential’’.

Mr Winterton told The Sunday-Mail that Ms Fay had not been sacked for blowing the whistle, and denied that Lodges on George had been short-staffed.

“Absolutely not,’’ he said. “We have not been approached by the Royal Commission about any matter relating to us and we have no awareness of any complaints made.

Mr Winterton would not say why Ms Fay had been dismissed because “I can’t comment on individual staff matters’’.

“CPSM Care has some of the best staff ratios in the industry and we have registered nurses 24 hours a day,’’ he said.

 

NATASHA BITA, The Sunday Mail (Qld)

September 22, 2019 

See original article at https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/crime-and-justice/whistleblowing-nurse-sues-over-sacking/news-story/3981933de5d64af908aff4825ee29098