Advanced search

To think you just can't say this as a public sector worker? Sorry, FB related.

(63 Posts)
Famzilla Tue 03-Jun-14 20:21:48

Someone I have known for many years posted a horrid status on Facebook earlier, I won't repeat it word for word but the basic jist was that he was glad that a local MH charity was closing due to lack of funding and that suicidal people should just be left to kill themselves.. But not in public because that ruins everyone's day.

Obviously this turned into a bit of a bunfight and as an RMN it offended me greatly. I also work in the same hospital as him, he doesn't have a registration for his role but he still works for the NHS. He is arrogantly refusing to remove the status saying that he won't get into trouble with his employer because of free speech blah blah. Is this right? Can public service workers really say stuff like this publicly?

Please don't flame me if you think I should mind my own business or whatever, having suffered my own MH problems as a teen and I've read some stuff from people I considered friends which has really disturbed me today and I can't help but feel it shouldn't be allowed.

Verynovicegardener Tue 03-Jun-14 20:24:54

Print the page if that's possible then make the workers line manager aware. This is absolutely unacceptable given that the person works ( I assume) in an organisation offering care and support to mentally ill people. If this person is an unregistered practitioner then they will have a code of conduct nevertheless (well they do in my Mh trust) this behaviour would be a stackable offence.

Hope you do take some action!!

Verynovicegardener Tue 03-Jun-14 20:26:37

Also meant to say that where I work it is a stackable offence' to ' bring the organisation into disrepute' which this is as his comments could be seen as representative if his employer given the nature of his workplace/ role.

Check out your organisations policy on use of social media.

MaudantWit Tue 03-Jun-14 20:26:48

There may be a catch-all clause in his contract about not doing anything to bring his employer into disrepute. It's not unknown for people to be disciplined over things they have posted on social media sites.

mindthegap79 Tue 03-Jun-14 20:27:11

Erm, he's an idiot and yanbu. I'm also a public sector worker and have seen people hauled before disciplinary panels for less! If you've advised him to take it down, and he hasn't, you need to have a quiet word with his line manager. You can't ignore it now that you've seen it.

What an ignorant twat he sounds!

Iggly Tue 03-Jun-14 20:28:05

I don't see why being in the public sector makes a difference - he shouldn't say it full stop.

mindthegap79 Tue 03-Jun-14 20:29:26

Take a screen shot (function+print screen I think?!), then you can email a picture of the screen to his lm.

ashtrayheart Tue 03-Jun-14 20:29:28

He could face disciplinary action if someone go on do it reported him with proof to his superiors.

Shenanagins Tue 03-Jun-14 20:29:38

You most certainly can get into trouble and even sacked by your employers for comments on Facebook. I would imagine the NHS will have a policy on this and would take a very dim view.

ChelsyHandy Tue 03-Jun-14 20:31:19

Perhaps he is so poorly paid, sick of his job and/or going through a bad phase that he doesn't care about threats of being sacked from his job?

Timeforabiscuit Tue 03-Jun-14 20:31:58

There is no such thing as freedom of speech in this country.

He is identifiable as an employee.

There will be a social media policy covering this.

Please print it off and pass to line manager, I would expect an instant suspension, investigation and disciplinary.

SauvignonBlanche Tue 03-Jun-14 20:32:41

You can certainly be disciplined if you make remarks that could show you in bad light as an employee.

Timeforabiscuit Tue 03-Jun-14 20:37:15

Chelsy really? Lots of people are low paid that doesn't mean you get to say it would be better that people died!

How is he supposed to go into work tomorrow and look people in the eye? Would you want care from this man if you saw his post?

Not to mention reputational damage to his employer - we all get stressed and bitter especially at redundancy rounds, but that in no way is appropriate!

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 03-Jun-14 20:40:26

It bad enough saying it, but an nhs worker is disgusting.

I'm a ward domestic, and i would get called in the office

JohnCusacksWife Tue 03-Jun-14 20:41:32

Why is it relevant that he works for a public sector organisation. Would it be ok if worked for a private firm? confused

maras2 Tue 03-Jun-14 20:43:19

I'd grass the fucker and let him find out what is allowed or not on Facebook.Twat

CaptChaos Tue 03-Jun-14 20:43:57

I had a chap who worked under me do something similar. Did the whole 'free speech' rigmarole. He is now unemployed. He also said that he wasn't paid enough and hated his job. I haven't been asked for a reference yet.

There is free speech in this country. There are just rules about hateful speech, and saying that mentally ill people should kill themselves quietly is hateful toward a protected group.

When you work for the NHS putting hateful speech on your Facebook and then refusing to remove it means you should probably not be working for them anymore.

Famzilla Tue 03-Jun-14 20:46:34

I don't think it would be ok for anyone to say it obviously! But he comes from a corporate background and having only worked in healthcare I'm pretty ignorant to any other firms policies & procedures.

He doesn't work in a client facing role if this makes any difference? It doesn't to me, but like I said I may be taking this personally.

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 03-Jun-14 20:48:23

The difference between NHS workers and private is that the nhs is a place where there are vulnerable people receiving medical care.

Post like this is not acceptable especially when you work in a Heath care profession.

SauvignonBlanche Tue 03-Jun-14 20:52:01

An NHS trust will have a social media policy that will cover all staff.

BuggersMuddle Tue 03-Jun-14 20:57:02

Is he dealing with MH patients?

Personally he sounds horrible and in your circumstance I would have no qualms reporting.

If he's not patient facing and you can't face doing that, I would at least unfriend him so that you are not associated with any bigoted shite he might post online. (I did this with an old school friend recently who I had thought was a bit 'UKIP' but turns out he wants to send the <insert offensive term for non-whites here> home. Myself and several others - many of whom can't be a bit non-PC themselves, albeit unthinkingly rather than maliciously - told him he needed to can it but he wouldn't listed. Free speech and all that. I don't know his exact work details or I would've been tempted to be honest as I lost all respect for him. Didn't go all drama llama, just pointed out it was offensive and when he refused to listen to us, quietly deleted.).

That said, in a role where he may deal with the vulnerable, I would seriously consider reporting, unless you think this is for some reason wildly out of character (he's not having mental health probe himself I assume).

brt100 Tue 03-Jun-14 21:02:37

Are you sure its just not dark humour? I've heard the same jokes at a comedy club.

dancinggerald Tue 03-Jun-14 21:09:51

I've known too many people who have committed suicide and I'm furious. Take a screen shot, and send it to his Line Manager. Or tell me who he is and where he works and I'll happily do it. Nobody with these attitudes should be allowed to work in mental health (or anywhere else involving people). It would be nice if he could be educated in some way - but sadly I suspect he is a prick and won't change his attitude. He mustn't be inflicted on vulnerable people though.

TheVioletHour Tue 03-Jun-14 21:37:22

Cant imagine any nhs trust not come down like a ton of bricks on this sort of behaviour tbh, whether he works with "mh" patients is irrelevant as whatever the speciality he works in some of the patients and their loved ones will have mh issues

Famzilla Tue 03-Jun-14 21:40:32

It didn't seem in any way tongue in cheek, but even if it was I still feel like you cannot post such things if you work are representing the NHS.

He doesn't work in mental health no, he works behind the scenes but still would encounter unwell people as it is part & parcel of working in a hospital.

I referred him to the NHS policy on social media and politely explained that if he was working in my department I would have a duty to not overlook it. That was met with an arrogant "well I'm thankful I don't work with you then, because there's no way I'm getting my ass tanned for having an opinion!". So now it would seem like I was reporting him out of spite.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now