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‘Bullied’ NHS whistleblower to challenge Non-Disclosure Agreement at tribunal

An NHS radiographer, Sue Allison, previously made a series of protected disclosures regarding a series of cancer misdiagnoses and was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement by her employer. Ms Alison brought an employment tribunal claim challenging the terms of the non-disclosure agreement, which prevented her from publicly airing her concerns or bringing future claims against the NHS. Ms Allison attempted to get the non-disclosure agreement revoked by arguing that it was unlawful to ask her to sign the agreement without her first obtaining legal representation. Ms Allison alleges that she has been blacklisted by the NHS and has been asked about the incident during several job applications.

Ms Allison’s case was heard in Manchester on 2 April, during which bosses from the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust applied for her case to be dismissed on the grounds she had signed an agreement in 2015 which prevented her from bringing future claims against the Trust amid allegations she was bullied by colleagues. The employment judge ruled in her favour and paved the way for a full tribunal next Spring. Since Ms Allison’s case was heard, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has promised that gagging orders for whistleblowers will be banished from the NHS.