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Any NHS HR people about?

(5 Posts)
flossyfloo Mon 11-Mar-13 20:44:40

I can only give very limited details here but just wanted to get some advice off people in the know about NHS HR.

I am involved in an investigation regarding a colleague. I have had to provide statements and was told that all the information the investigating officer had gathered was going to panel and that that would be the end of it as far as my involvement in it was concerned.

I have now been told that I am going to be called as a witness in the disciplinary hearing, although this has not been confirmed yet. This was a bit of a shock to me as no one had told me that this was even likely and I gathered it was all done and dusted as it had been to panel.

I have never been involved in anything like this before and I'm not being kept up to date or given much information in order to protect my colleague's privacy etc. What I want to know is what is involved in a disciplinary hearing? Why can they not just accept my statement? If they had further questions that needed answering, why could they not have asked me these for the statement? I'm worried it is going to be a bit like a courtroom scenario, where I am cross-examined and my statement picked apart. I am also concerned that my colleague will be present to witness all of it, this makes me very nervous.

Also, what is the actual process of an investigation? If it has been to panel and is now a disciplinary, what does that actually mean for my colleague?

Thanks in advance for any help.

twinklytoes Mon 11-Mar-13 21:29:44

not HR NHS but have been in your position as a witness in a disciplinary and also in the role of investigation manager.

the first stage is the role of the investigation manager - it is their responsibility to interview all those involved, witnesses and the employee subject to the disciplinary. They also look at and review any other evidence - rosters, patient notes, supervision records. This is all done with HR support. If you are interviewed then you should receive a copy of your meeting. You have to confirm it is a true record of your meeting.

Once all the above is done, the investigating manager prepares a report bringing together all the evidence and make a judgement as to how this should proceed. I.e. recommend an informal improvement notice; verbal warning; written warning.

this report is given to the disciplinary manager (someone senior to the investigating manager). It is then the disciplinary manager's responsibility to make the decision of what to do.

Anything but an informal improvement notice or no case to be heard has to go to a disciplinary hearing.

This is held, sorry, like a court. The investigating manager presents their evidence and calls witnesses (those that they have already interviewed). They will get you to verbally confirm what you have already said. This is done infront of another manager, known as a hearing manager (they will be the same grade or a grade above than the disciplinary manager). The person under disciplinary will also be present, usually with union representation. They will be in receipt of all the information gathered by the investigating manager and can ask questions to the investigating manager and any witnesses. So, all in all, you may have to answer extra questions but only from the employee and the union rep.

The hearing manager hears all evidence and then makes the decision as to how to progress - i.e. verbal warning; written warning; dismissal.

Your colleague then has the right to appeal if they choose to do so. They have 7 days to log an appeal. This will then be heard by another manager.

You don't actually need to attend - you have the right to refuse to attend. The HR team should support you if you do attend and you have the right to be supported by a colleague or a union rep if you choose too. You just have to inform HR who this will be within the time frame given.

HTH. Your trust disciplinary policy should clearly spell out all of the above. PM me if that would be helpful.

flossyfloo Mon 11-Mar-13 22:01:12

Thanks for that, very helpful to have it all laid out so I know what's going on.

Not happy to hear about the details of a disciplinary hearing though, especially hearing that my colleague can also ask me questions. I'm really not looking forward to that.

I would just like to get it all over and done with now though, it's been dragged out long enough.

twinklytoes Mon 11-Mar-13 22:25:26

they are dragged out...average here is 6 months!

the colleague can only question around what you have already said, they can not provide new evidence. I've found that they very rarely ask questions because they probably already have a good idea of what's going to happen. The hardest part is sitting in the same room as someone, you previously thought of as good character, team member etc and state what you have given evidence for.

hope all goes ok.

flossyfloo Mon 11-Mar-13 22:37:42

Glad it's not just my trust that seems to drag this out way longer than it needs to be.

Thanks for your help twinklytoes.

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