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£96k for NHS worker after ‘suicide’ snub

AN NHS worker who was threatened with legal action when he told bosses he felt suicidal has been awarded more than £96,000 in compensation and damages.

Ambulance mechanic Gordon Flemming (pictured) was warned he would be referred to lawyers if he continued to send letters saying he was thinking of ‘ending it all’.

Employment tribunal judges described the response from East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust as the ‘most appalling’ they had come across.

Mr Flemming, of Norwich, had a heart attack during a row with a manager in 2012 and was mostly off sick until he was dismissed unfairly in November 2015.

In an email sent during his sick leave, the worker accused bosses of ‘corporate bullying on such a scale that I have contemplated ending it all, does nobody care about that?’

In reply, interim HR director Ruth McAll wrote: ‘I appreciate you may have mental health problems, but this letter is not acceptable. If you continue to write such letters we will refer them to our solicitors.’

Employment judge Richard Cassell said: ‘We did not hear from Ruth McAll and can only speculate as to why she responded as she did.’ It is understood she no longer works for the trust.

Mr Flemming — who won his unfair dismissal claim in February — will receive £96,500, including compensation for disability discrimination. The trust apologised to Mr Flemming and said the tribunal’s findings are being ‘remedied’.