Nurse gets €16,000 in compensation as court rules her job transfer was abusive
A nurse received €16,270 as compensation as the court ruled that her transfer from a ward in Mater Dei Hospital to St Vincent de Paul was abusive.
The case goes back to August 2011 when Rita Vella was transferred from a highly specialised ward at Mater Dei Hospital to St Vincent de Paul. She had been employed with the state hospital since 1997. Following an application, she was placed at the Cardiac ward. In 2005, Mrs Vella was promoted to staff nurse.
The court heard how following a conference she had attended in Cyprus, she noted a changed attitude in her regard by some of her colleagues. She had filed a harassment report but was ignored. However, a report by a fellow nurse was received and the complainant had to face a disciplinary board.
In 2011, the nurse received a 48 hour notice to be transferred to St Vincent de Paul. Her husband, who also worked as a nurse, was also transferred.
Magistrate Joseph Micallef noted that the applicant had not been given the right of a fair reply before the disciplinary board. He also heard how the departure of Ms Vella from the Cardiac Catheterisation suite had caused negative repercussions.
Dr Robert Xuereb had testified that Ms Vella was a professional who did her work well and who had given a valid contribution to the proper management of the ward.
The court ruled that the Chief Medical Officer had acted beyond the powers granted to him by law when he ordered the transfer of Ms Vella. This amounted to an abusive administrative action which went against the principles of natural justice.
The court ordered Chief Medical Officer to pay Ms Vella the sum of €16,270 as compensation.