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A whistle blows at St Vincent’s hospital

Unfair DismissalDecember 2, 2015

A whistle blows at St Vincent’s hospital (Last Updated On: August 9, 2016)

A Sydney hospital employee was fired after he reported an indecent assault of a sedated patient in a mental health unit.

St Vincent’s hospital is now under pressure to explain why they terminated security guard Brendan Osmond’s employment. Mr Osmond worked at the hospital for 23 years before he was dismissed earlier this year for whistleblowing.

Mr Osmond’s employment was terminated after he reported a fellow security guard touching the breast of a patient during a pat-down in the hospital’s acute psychiatric ward seclusion room. This incident was referred to the police, however,  the patient could not be interviewed as she had already been discharged.

Mr Osmond took his dismissal to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) as he believed he had been unfairly dismissed.

The FWC heard that at 2.30am on the day of the incident, three security officers were called to help with a patient who was acting aggressively. The security officers escorted the patient to a secluded room where she was injected with sedatives. A search of the patient was then ordered which was performed by Mr Osmond’s supervisor, Des Squires.

The FWC heard that four days after the alleged incident, Mr Osmond raised a complaint to his manager stating that Mr Squires has behaved in an inappropriate way by indecently touching the female patient.

Mr Osmond was accused of lodging a false complaint, lying to his superiors and bullying Mr Squires.

After taking his dismissal to the FWC, St Vincent’s hospital was ordered to reinstate Mr Osmond to his original position. Mr Squires however, denies that he ever inappropriately touched the female patient and is still employed at the hospital and has never faced charges.

Mr Osmond was not given the opportunity to respond before his employment was dismissed. Whilst he had correctly followed St Vincent’s whistleblowing policy, the hospital subsequently fired him for voicing concerns.

The above raises the importance of having a whistleblowing policy included in workplace policies and procedures. This enables all employees and employers to be aware of the correct actions to take should an incident such as this occur. If you need help drafting and implementing your workplace policies and procedures, call Employsure today on 1300 651 415.

Sourced via ABC News

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