Nurse gets €16,000 in com­pen­sa­tion as court rules her job trans­fer was abusive

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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