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Charlotte Monro



From Charlotte’s campaign
We have had wonderful news. Charlotte has been reinstated and will return to work in Whipps Cross Hospital. Following the tribunal hearing Barts Health NHS Trust invited her to return. This is a vindication of Charlotte and the stand we all have taken.

Your support has been a very significant factor in this campaign and its success. Thank you all so much. As Charlotte says in her personal statement below:
“Together we are standing up for what we believe in and this has made all the difference.”

Reistate Charlotte Campaign

Read Charlotte’s statement here and Barts Trust statement click here 31 March 201

end of trib pic

Report from Charlotte’s Employment Tribunal 20 March 2015


from Reinstate Charlotte Monro Campaign

Charlotte Monro’s tribunal hearing finished this week and the panel is now considering the outcome. The public seats were packed with colleagues, campaigners, friends, family who came to give support and sat gripped through the hours of evidence. The legal team provided by her union UNISON did a fantastic job. For all of us who were there it has been a powerful experience.

Listening to the evidence it became clear that Charlotte had been dismissed because she was an effective trade union rep who had spoken out in a public and that the disciplinary process and sacking were initiated by the senior leadership team or HR and not by her own manager.

The current difficulties Whipps Cross Hospital and Barts Health Trust are in is headline news. An exodus of experienced staff and heavy reliance on agency workers has, as people feared, impacted on patient care. The Care Quality Commission is clear the problem lies in a cultural and leadership issue not with front line staff, and points to the 2013 down banding of nursing staff. Charlotte’s suspension from key trade union duties took place as this was being prepared. Her dismissal cannot in our view be separated from of the culture of bullying and intimidation that has continued to put staff in fear of speaking out.

Reinstatement of Charlotte would be a very real step in moving away from this negative culture and we believe would help to restore staff morale at Whipps Cross.

In the course of the tribunal very important questions have been explored.

On the last day the Trust formally conceded that Charlotte’s speaking at scrutiny committee did amount to a protected disclosure (whistle blowing). She had spoken of concerns over cuts to the excellent Whipps Cross stroke service.

The judge said the tribunal would consider whether or not disciplinary action on any of the other issues would be likely to have been taken if it were not for the claimant speaking at scrutiny, and noted that it was within days of this the disciplinary process was launched.

On the question of a trade union rep talking to staff about their jobs being at risk before the official launch of consultation, the judge identified the potential conflict of interest between the obligations of TU representatives to the people they represent, and an obligation of confidentiality set by an employer.

Charlotte’s past convictions and the fact that they were spent convictions other than in the specific employment context where they should have been declared was a point of focus for the tribunal. The judge was clearly of the view that the specific context of political protests etc. and the circumstances should have been takin into account in considering whether they were relevant to her present employment and long successful career.

Charlotte’s barrister submitted that her dismissal for not declaring spent convictions was a breach of article eight of the human rights act, the right to private and family life. She explained that work is part of a person’s private life because it becomes part of your identity, and that once a conviction is spent it becomes part of private life; therefore a decision to refuse NHS employment (or to dismiss an employee) as a result of spent convictions must be considered very carefully and taken only if genuinely necessary e.g. because of risk to patients. Charlotte’s managers, provided evidence that they were completely confident that Charlotte posed no risk to patients and public; on the contrary they stated that she did her job extremely well and demonstrated great integrity.

The dismissal was therefore argued to be a breach of Bart’s duty as a public body to uphold human rights.

It was with great concern that we noticed that at least 6 other staff members from Bart’s were at the Tribunal premises attending their own Employment Tribunals at the same time as Charlotte.

We await the result of the Employment Tribunal

Excellent updates on January days from Charlotte’s tribunal on Evening Standard journalist Ross Lydall’s blog

See video of tribunal picket here

Latest press release click here
Charlotte petition update and sign click here NOW!
Max Watson’s blog, Branch Secretary UNISON  London Metropolitan University and on Unison NEC Click her

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You need to register on line-  that is how BMA House organise things.
Register on line at:–9SJCSF
Any problems in registering – email or call 020 8655 8815

Download flyer here

Bulletin 2: End Bullying, Charlotte’s case by Roger Kline Download here
Bulletin 1: Cuts to budgets and services
Barts Health Trust: a paradigm for NHS problems
Download here

Watch accompanying video from Stuart Monro

August 2014


Encourage workmates, family and friends to sign and pass on

“Charlotte Monro has worked as an occupational therapist in  the NHS for 34 years, employed by Whipps Cross NHS Trust – now Barts NHS Trust – since 1987. She was an active trade unionist for many years,  representing workers at Whipps Cross Hospital as staff side chair and  UNISON branch chair. She was dismissed by the Trust on 4 November 2013 following a disciplinary process.

UNISON is supporting Charlotte in taking Barts NHS Trust to an  Employment Tribunal claiming that she was unfairly dismissed by the  trust. No employer should be allowed to act in this way. No NHS Trust can afford to lose such experienced and committed staff. We call on the trust to reconsider its decision to dismiss such a  long serving and valued health service worker and union official, and to recognise the impact this has on the wider workforce morale and the  reputation of the trust.”
Dave Prentis
General secretary, UNISON

On 1 May Charlotte heard that there was an administrative error  – having heard that there was no case against her, she then heard that in fact that Barts have put a case against her.

Charlotte remains in fighting mood despite this setback. She comments:
‘this was all a tribunal administration mistake, the trust had sent in a response in defense against my claim by the deadline, so the  judgment in my favour (though it has not yet been rescinded) is highly  unlikely to stand and there is likely to be a hearing, probably later in the year.

The  incredibly warm and overjoyed responses I have had from so  many people just show how crucial this all is and that to fight this to  win the moral, and legal case is so important.

Your continuing support IS needed !!!

Thank you, Charlotte
Latest news is that Unison are supporting Charlotte to take her case to an Employment Tribunal. The issues in her case, highlighted so effectively by the campaign, have significance for the trade union movement across the NHS and wider, for the right of health staff and their unions to speak out, and to join with the communities we serve in defence of services.

You may have seen on the news that the Care Quality Commission report following their in-depth inspection of Barts Health Trust last November found “Morale across the trust is low, with staff being uncertain of their future with the trust and a perception of a closed culture and bullying. Too many members of staff of all levels and across all sites came to us to express their concerns about being bullied. Many only agreed to speak with us if they could be anonymous. In the 2013 staff survey 32% of staff reported being bullied;”  You can read the report on

BBC London covered the report and included an interview with Charlotte – see this on:
Barts Heaalth treatment of Charlotte’s had been the visible tip of this dangerous culture beneath the surface, now brought out into the open.

The appeal panel upheld her dismissal – on two allegations – talking to staff about proposals to cut their posts (failure to ‘respect confidentiality’) and of failing to declare past convictions. The allegation of ‘bringing the Trust into disrepute’ speaking at Scrutiny Committee was not upheld at appeal, the panel saying the trust ‘supports its staff in raising concerns’ and recognised Charlotte’s ‘personal commitment … and passion for the service’. But they still dismissed her, and speaking out remains the trigger. However the campaign is clearly having its impact.

Bullying fears and the CQC report had front page coverage in the local press, which also published a flood of letters in response to a vindictive statement about CharlottE implying she was a risk to patients that the Trust released as soon as the appeal outcome was known. Many of you may have received something similar in response to your emails.

Here is a link to the local press coverage:

This campaign sees itself as part of the wider campaign to oppose bullying of trade unionists in all work places and attempts to silence NHS staff and their representatives through intimidation and a culture of fear.

Please forward this update and the links to others


3 East London health campaigns made a moving and powerful statement in support of Charlotte Monro to a meeting of the Barts Trust Board on Wednesday 8 January.


Click here to read excellent article about Charlotte’s case

Click here to view


Pictures of protest outside Royal London Hospital on the eve of Charlotte’s appeal which is on Thursday 5 Decembe

Click here to see video of Charlotte’s speech

Charlotte Monro is a well-respected, longstanding staff member and trade union representative at Whipps Cross Hospital. In 2009 Charlotte received a special award from the Trust for her tireless efforts to defend services. The new Barts Health Trust has now dismissed her because she continued to do so!

Hundreds of staff are being down-graded and services across East London are being cut. As Unison Branch Chair, Charlotte raised concerns of staff over the impact of cuts on patient care with Waltham Forest Health Scrutiny Committee, and discussed the cuts with her union members.

For this she has been sacked! This is an attack on the right to speak out in the NHS, and on the rights of health staff to organise in trade unions and to campaign for services. We believe a climate of silencing staff through intimidation has no place in a caring service.

The NHS belongs to all of us. The voice of communities, patients, the health staff and their representatives must be heard, and our contribution to determining the future of services and the NHS be secured. Informed and open debate is needed in a climate of confidence.
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12 thoughts on “Charlotte Monro

  1. Pingback: Reinstate Charlotte Monro Protest

  2. RTUC says:

    Reinstate Charlotte Monro

    Ryde and East Wight Trades Council, on the Isle of Wight, are aware of the work that Charlotte has been carrying out on behalf of us all who are working to safeguard the future of our NHS. On the Isle of Wight, there are many difficulties and Staff are being replaced or downgraded and we are losing valuable skills.Services are being removed from the island by stealth. Lewisham is a great inspiration and we have great respect for the workers and people in the area. We know too that Whipcross staff and community has fought hard for a long time.

    We wish you all success and demand Charlotte’s reinstatement.

    Best wishes and in Solidarity,


  3. Petal says:

    Why is this happening in all hospitals around the UK now. What is going on?

    Management in hospitals are overpaid and a disgrace. They are deliberately ruining the NHS. I’d like to see all managers have to re-apply for their jobs and the decision taken by their current staff who they are in charge of.

  4. steve cawley says:

    Of course there will be some people who will now search the net and other places for details of what Barts managers were up to 30+ years ago – perhaps as teenagers they got into some trouble? Seriously,though, Unison should not only be employing the best lawyers on this, and also should be putting some of its vast resources into publicising this matter and, as necessary, campaigning for industrial action on this issue, if that is the only language the employers understand.

  5. Pingback: Save the NHS: Photos and Report – The Protest and Parliamentary Meeting Calling for the Deadly Deadly “Hospital Closure Clause” to be Dropped | Andy Worthington


  7. Pingback: Statement from Dave Prentice, General Secretary of Unison in support of Charlotte Monro.  | Rtuc's Blog

  8. steve mckenzie says:

    It appears to me that the extremely well healed place men and women allegedly running the NHS, have a un written remit that their fantastically well paid jobs depend on, which is to suppress information about the dreadful consequences of the cuts and privatization in the NHS. That involves silencing people like Charlotte. I suppose the next stage in this well trodden path will be for them to attempt buy Charlotte’s silence. That’s when she will find out who your real friends are, and who is really fighting for what matters.

  9. Karen Kennedy says:

    Further to Petal’s comment I’d like to see anyone in post as a ‘manager’ medically qualified and having worked for a few years as a Dr,nurse, midwife, ambulance driver etc. That way they would have some idea what they’re doing.

  10. Dalwinder Atwal says:

    I have known Charlotte for more than 35 years. All her life she has supported people’s cause in and out of job. She fought against racism and racist attacks against national minorities in late 70’s and 80’s. She has fought and is fighting against hospital and services closures now. I call upon all the people to support her against the Whips Cross Hospital management for her reinstatement.

  11. Pingback: Charlotte Monro’s Tribunal postponed | Waltham Forest Save our NHS

  12. Tony O'Sullivan says:

    Charlotte’s victory is truly momentous.
    The biggest NHS Trust in Britain, Barts Health, in trouble with the biggest PFI in Europe, had set about cutting back the more vulnerable of its hospitals’ services and downgrading and bullying numerous among the thousands of staff, with intent to ensure Barts’ survival whatever the costs to patients, services or staff. Charlotte has worked for and fought to defend our precious NHS for decades. But by getting in the way of Barts’ intentions, in her role of trade union rep, she was despatched by her own trust: suspended and then sacked, and excluded from her workplace for over 18 months.

    Anyone who had the privilege to see Charlotte in the witness box in the employment tribunal witnessed something very special: a totally committed, hard-working occupational therapist and trade unionist in the role of David, unbowed and unashamedly defending her role shamed the Goliath, whose shabby, dishonest case fell apart before our very eyes.
    An unnerving few days later, which have seemed like a lifetime, Charlotte has emerged victorious, fully reinstated and with her character, and reputation as local trade union leader enhanced. A victory for Charlotte is a victory for all. Congratulations to Charlotte and to Stuart Monro, to her campaign, to her patients, staff and fellow trade unionists.


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