NHS worker sacked for sleeping at Sick Kids

Sick Kids hospital. Picture: Cate Gillon

Sick Kids hospital. Picture: Cate Gillon

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AN NHS worker has been sacked after allegedly creeping into a restricted area of the Sick Kids Hospital to have a snooze on the job.

The dozy NHS Lothian employee, who the Evening News understands was employed in IT, is said to have been caught napping in a chair inside a ward that was not being used to treat patients at the time.

After he was found asleep an internal NHS Lothian investigation was launched before it was decided that he was to be sacked.

But the worker, who was dismissed in December following the original incident in October, has formally appealed against the decision which, it has been claimed, was an overreaction from health bosses.

The ward the employee was found in was described as a perfect place for a crafty sleep as it is only used at busy times and staff members rarely enter it when patients are not being treated there.

One hospital source said the ward, which is used for extra capacity when other beds are full up and is off-limits to many workers, would have usually been a “pretty quiet place”.

Margaret Watt, chair of the Scotland Patients Association, backed the decision of NHS Lothian 
managers to show the worker the door. She said: “It’s just not on. I’m a supporter of trade unions but if this has been proved, in this case his feet wouldn’t touch the floor. You’ve got to have trust and if you can’t, they have to get rid. The NHS can’t afford to have people to supervise everyone all the time.

“There are bridges you don’t cross, but it sounds like he has gone a bridge too far. There are rules and regulations and if you can’t follow them in the NHS, you’re in the wrong job.

If the worker’s appeal against the sacking is successful, he could be reinstated to the post. NHS Lothian refused to discuss the detail of the case while the process was carried out.

Alan Boyter, NHS Lothian’s director of human resources and organisational development, said: “Proceedings around this case are ongoing and as a result it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.”