Document Reference: Human Resources
Date of Issue: June 2007
Issue Number 02
Date of Review: December 2009
PROCESS TO BE FOLLOWED 4
THE DISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATION 5/6
TYPES OF DISCIPLINARY OFFENCE 6/8
TIME LIMITS 9
DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AGAINST A TRADE UNION REPRESENTATIVE 9
RIGHT TO BE ACCOMPANIED 9/10
POLICE ENQUIRIES AND LEGAL PROCEEDINGS 10/11
DISCIPLINARY HEARING 11
FAILURE TO ATTEND A DISCIPLINARY HEARING 11/12
DISCIPLINARY PENALTIES 12/13
CONFIRMATION OF DISCIPLINARY DECISIONS 13
REMOVAL OF RECORDS RELATING TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION 13
MEDICAL AND DENTAL STAFF 13
APPENDIX A DISCIPLINARY DEFINITIONS 16
APPENDIX B STANDARDS OF CLINICAL CONDUCT 17/18
APPENDIX C STANDARDS OF PERSONAL CONDUCT 19/20
APPENDIX D APPEAL PROFORMA 21/22
APPENDIX E FLOW CHART OF THE DISCIPLINARY PROCESS 23
1. The purpose of the Disciplinary Policy is to:
Clarify relations between employer and employee so that all concerned
understand their rights and obligations.
Provide a procedural framework for emphasising and encouraging
improvements in individual behaviour.
Promote the equitable and consistent treatment of staff where breaches of
discipline are alleged as well as protect others who may be affected by this
Maintain the standards of the Trust by defining and encouraging
improvements in individual conduct and performance, as well as providing
support, which helps every employee reach acceptable standards of clinical
and personal conduct.
2. The Disciplinary Policy will only apply to cases where there has been a deliberate
lack of care and attention to one’s duty or there has been a breach of the Trust’s
Codes of Conduct. In some circumstances, other policies and procedures may be
more appropriate, i.e. Capability, Sickness, Harassment & Bullying.
3. The Disciplinary Policy applies to all Trust employees employed under a contact
of employment including Medical Staff. See section 16, which covers issues
concerning the professional conduct and competence of medical staff.
4. Managers must seek the advice of the Human Resources Department at all
stages of the procedure.
5. The Disciplinary Policy will form part of the contract of employment of each
member of staff.
1. The Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (The Trust) is
entitled to expect its employees to maintain acceptable standards of conduct,
reliability and efficiency.
2. Employees are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the principles
and standards of behaviour as laid down by the Trust and any professional body
of which they are a member.
3. The disciplinary policy should not be seen simply as a means of imposing
sanctions on staff, but, more importantly, as a way to encourage staff to improve
and maintain acceptable standards of conduct.
4. Disciplinary action in individual cases will be applied equitably irrespective of the
race, colour, creed, nationality, age, social background, ethnic or national origin,
gender, HIV status, marital status, sexual orientation, disability and trade union
membership or non-membership of the staff concerned.
5. Managers will have regard to the current statutory legislation applicable at the
relevant time associated with employee conduct and performance in the
application of the disciplinary procedure.
6. Where misconduct is alleged, a member of staff will have the right to be
accompanied at all stages of the formal procedure by a work colleague of the
Trust or a trade union representative. They must be advised in writing of the
nature of the allegations being made against them.
7. All managers and staff, including witnesses, are contractually required to fully co-
operate with disciplinary investigations and hearings and to act promptly at all
stages of the disciplinary procedure.
8. The Trust will ensure, where possible, that an employee, their trade union
representative or colleague has access to witnesses appropriate to any
disciplinary investigation and by making available relevant documents
3. PROCESS TO BE FOLLOWED
1. When a possible disciplinary situation is identified, the manager should take
action as early as possible and thus minimise the likelihood of formal disciplinary
action having to be taken. In such circumstances, counselling should be
encouraged and the member of staff advised that any repetition of the offence
could lead to formal action. Counselling should include steps that will enable the
agreed standards and objectives to be achieved within a reasonable timeframe.
This can be confirmed in writing.
2. The way allegations of misconduct are dealt with depends on:
a. The seriousness of the allegation in terms of whether it is considered a
minor offence or something that amounts to serious or gross misconduct;
b. Whether the alleged misconduct may be an isolated incident or has been
the subject of previous or on-going concern.
c. The degree of seriousness, based on the evidence available not only at
the time the incident becomes known, but as further evidence becomes
available, will help in deciding to treat an allegation as minor, serious or
3. Following counselling, disciplinary action should be taken when the behaviour
does not improve to the required level or the breach of conduct is repeated.
There will, however, be occasions when misconduct is serious and, in these
circumstances, it would be appropriate to proceed straight to the formal stage of
the disciplinary process, commencing with a thorough investigation.
If a written warning is currently recorded on file and further misconduct occurs,
this could lead to a final written warning.
If a final warning is current, any further misconduct could lead to dismissal.
4. THE DISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATION
1. When a disciplinary situation arises the Investigating officer should investigate
the issues quickly, thoroughly and without undue delay before recollections
fade. In order to maintain impartiality at all times, the Investigating Officer will
not be the Disciplining Manager.
2. If the alleged offence is considered to be gross misconduct and could,
therefore, lead to dismissal, the Investigating Officer should immediately
establish the facts of the situation. This will then enable a decision to be made
whether suspension is appropriate. In appropriate circumstances, alternative
options to suspension should be considered, i.e. restricted duties, alternative
place of work.
3. A written statement should be requested by the Investigating Officer, from the
employee and any witnesses involved. These may be requested within an
agreed deadline and all staff involved will be expected to co-operate at all
stages of the investigation and attend a hearing if required.
4. While the employee has the right to be accompanied at all formal meetings,
this is not extended to witnesses. Where information is provided verbally, a
record will be prepared and they will be asked to sign and date it to verify its
5. Anyone providing a verbal statement will be asked to provide a written
statement. Conversely, anyone providing a written statement will be asked to
a meeting for further clarification.
6. Reasonable notice will be given to the employee to attend investigation
meetings and it is their responsibility to ensure their representative is
available. Requests to postpone a meeting will only be allowed in exceptional
circumstances and the meeting must be rearranged to take place within five
working days from the date originally planned in order to minimise any delay
to the progress of the investigation.
7. Employees will be given access to Trust records considered by the Trust to be
applicable to their case in order to help them respond to any allegation made
8. The Investigating Officer will present all the facts to the Disciplining Manager.
A decision will then be taken by the Disciplining Manager whether to:
a. Take no further action if the facts show there is no case to answer.
b. Arrange counselling and deal with the matter informally.
c. Proceed to a disciplinary hearing if appropriate.
9. In cases not involving dismissal, where the facts of the case are not in dispute
by both parties, with the agreement of the employee and their representative
or work colleague, the proceedings may be condensed in order to a avoid a
prolonged process. The employee will be invited in writing to a disciplinary
hearing and told of their right to be accompanied. Each party will give a
statement to the panel and outline any mitigation they wish to be considered.
After an adjournment, the employee will be informed of the decision of the
5. TYPES OF DISCIPLINARY OFFENCE
1. It is not possible to give an exhaustive list of the three main categories of
misconduct, as this will depend on the circumstances of each case. Details of
all allegations must be confirmed in writing and should contain a warning that
the outcome may lead to disciplinary action. In cases of serious or gross
misconduct, leading to a disciplinary hearing, action up to and including
summary dismissal may be considered.
2. The types of misconduct outlined in the following paragraphs should be read in
conjunction with the standards of clinical and personal conduct contained in
Appendices B and C.
Wherever possible, cases of minor breaches of conduct should be dealt with
informally and the member of staff counselled. However, there will be instances
where misconduct, although minor in nature, nevertheless cannot appropriately
be dealt with informally. Examples could include growing concerns about poor
timekeeping or personal conduct, where no improvement would be considered
Examples of serious misconduct may include:
Infrequent, unauthorised absence from duty for which no acceptable
reason is given or a failure to follow the requirements of the Sickness and
Absence Policy, including a failure to return from authorised leave without an
A single act of harassment or bullying in breach of Trust Policies not amounting
to gross misconduct;
Persistent, unsatisfactory timekeeping, where a previous warning has been
Serious breaches the Trust’s policies on telephone, e-mail use or inappropriate
use of the internet not amounting to gross misconduct;
Deliberate non co-operation or refusal to carry out a reasonable management
A serious neglect of duty, which did not affect the well-being of a patient,
member of the public or member of staff;
Serious misconduct at work or outside work, which could bring the name of the
Trust into disrepute;
A serious breach of the Trust’s health and safety policies
Providing an official line-manager reference on behalf of the Trust for a member
or ex-member of staff when not authorised to do so.
Serious breaches of the Trust’s Codes of Clinical and Personal Conduct. (See
Appendices B and C)
The trust may dismiss an employee, where an act(s) or omission(s) is
considered so serious, because of its nature or consequences, that it goes to
the very root of the contract and makes its continuance untenable. Examples of
gross misconduct, which are illustrative only and are not exhaustive, include:
Deliberate, intentional or on-going harassment and bullying in breach of Trust
Wilful disobedience or neglect of duty in a manner which is significantly
prejudicial to the service and the welfare of staff and patients, for example,
sleeping on duty, serious contravention of the Trust’s Observation Policy;
A wilful act or omission, which contravenes the policies of the Trust or the
appropriate professional Codes of Conduct and is significantly prejudicial to the
Dishonesty, for example, theft or fraud, including falsification of time sheets;
Wilful damage or an act deliberately prejudicial to the well-being of a patient,
member of the public or member of staff;
Being unfit for duty due to the alleged misuse of alcohol or drugs, which can
impair a member of staff’s ability to work effectively. Any action must be taken
with due consideration to the Trust’s Drug and Alcohol Policy;
Wilful damage to Trust property or equipment;
Threats or acts of violence including physical assault of a fellow employee,
member of the public or a patient. This includes fighting on duty;
Any act of serious misconduct committed outside work, which is considered by
the Trust to render an employee unsuitable for their type of work. For example,
an act of violence, fraud or theft especially where it brings the name of the Trust
Breach of confidentiality particularly as regards patients (subject to the Public
Interest Disclosure Act 1998);
Serious infringement of health and safety rules and regulations, which placed
others in danger or caused actual harm.
Serious unauthorised use of the Trust’s telephone, e-mail system or
inappropriate use of the Internet (for instance, access to or distribution of
Serious breach of the Trust’s Clinical and Personal Codes of Conduct.
1. Suspension from duty is a neutral act and does not imply guilt. Staff will remain
on full pay with no loss of earnings. It is essential that they make themselves
available for any meetings with management in connection with the investigation
and any disciplinary hearing that may be arranged. Failure to co-operate at any
stage of the procedure may be treated by the Trust as the non-performance of
the employee’s contractual duties and could mean pay being withheld at the
discretion of the Trust or further disciplinary action.
2. Suspension is only appropriate in cases where the alleged offence could be
considered as serious or gross misconduct, which, if proved, might result in
dismissal. Also, if the continued presence at work of the employee could impede
the progress of the investigation or put at risk the interests of the public or the
Trust, including the health and safety of staff and patients.
3. There may be alternative options to suspension and these will be considered in
4. The suspension of a member of staff will usually be used as a last resort once
the facts surrounding the incident have been established. The period of
suspension should be as short as possible bearing in mind allegations need to
be investigated thoroughly and the ongoing implications to the Trust and
employee. Directors of Operations or Heads of Service will review all
suspensions, initially after four weeks and, thereafter, every two weeks to
monitor the progress of investigations and to consider if the suspension is still
5. If an employee under investigation is to be suspended they will have the right to
be accompanied to a meeting by a work colleague or a trade union
representative. Normally, any Manager with the authority to dismiss also has the
authority to suspend an employee. However, in circumstances where such a
manager is not available, the most senior manager on duty may suspend after
seeking advice from an appropriate senior manager. In the event that a trade
union representative or colleague is unavailable to accompany a member of staff
to a meeting, they may be seen only to give them details of the allegation being
made against them and to advise them that they are suspended from duty. No
other discussion should take place unless the employee specifically agrees to
6. An appropriate manager must confirm the suspension in writing within five
working days, after discussion with the Human Resources Department. The
nature of the allegations must be set out clearly.
7. If a suspended member of staff falls ill during the period of suspension, they
must produce medical certificates in line with the Sickness & Absence Policy
and, if necessary, agree to be seen by Occupational Health. The investigation
will continue with the member of staff expected to co-operate as far as their
illness allows, taking into account any impact such illness has on the
investigating manager’s ability to complete their investigation.
8. The employee under suspension must be contacted regularly by the
Investigating Officer and kept informed of the progress of the investigation. The
Trust recognises that this can be a stressful period and every effort will be made
to minimise the effect on the employee.
7. TIME LIMITS
1. Disciplinary investigations should begin immediately after the alleged
misconduct has been drawn to the attention of management.
2. The member of staff under investigation and any witnesses should be
asked to provide an immediate written statement before recollections of
events begin to fade. If this is not possible they should be submitted no
later than one week from the date of the request. Witnesses should be
advised that they might be required to attend any subsequent hearing.
3. As required under this policy, management should regularly review
progress of an investigation to ensure there are no undue delays and to
keep the employee informed of progress.
4. If the Disciplining Manager decides to proceed to a disciplinary hearing,
the employee against whom the allegation/s have been made should be
given at least seven working days notice in writing of the date of the
hearing and be given two copies of the Management Statement of Case.
8. DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST A TRADE UNION REPRESENTATIVE
1. The Trust recognises that disciplinary action involving a trade union
representative needs sensitive handling. Therefore, no formal disciplinary
action should begin until the allegation/s are explained to a senior Trade
Union Representative or Full-time Officer.
2. If a disciplinary investigation into allegations against a trade union
representative is considered necessary, a senior Trade Union
Representative or Full-time Officer should be present during any
9. RIGHT TO BE ACCOMPANIED
1. Under the Employment Relations Act 1999, an employee has the right to
be accompanied to disciplinary meetings and hearings by a fellow worker
or Trade Union Representative. No other external representation is
permitted under this policy. The right is to make a reasonable request for
representation. For instance, it would not be a reasonable request to ask
to be accompanied by a colleague who had a conflict of interest in
2. It is the responsibility of the employee to arrange for their representative or
colleague to be present at meetings and hearings. However, the Trust will
seek to arrange a mutually suitable time and date by consulting with the
employee’s representative, if requested to do so. This should help
minimise the need to rearrange the date of a hearing because the
representative is unavailable. In terms of the disciplinary hearing, an
employee can request the postponement of the hearing if their chosen
representative or colleague is not available to attend on the original date.
However, in exercising this right, the employee must propose an
alternative date to take place within five working days of the original date.
In doing so, the employee should have regard to the availability of the
3. When witnesses are required to attend disciplinary investigations and
hearings, it is only to provide relevant information. As such they do not
have the right to be represented.
4. If necessary an interpreter may be invited to attend a disciplinary hearing.
It is the responsibility of the Investigating Officer to arrange for their
attendance. Care must be exercised to ensure adequate time is allowed
for proper understanding of what is being said by all the parties involved.
Employees should also ensure that the Investigating Officer is made
aware of any special needs.
10. POLICE ENQUIRIES OR LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
1. Police enquiries, legal or statutory proceedings or conviction relating to a
criminal offence should not necessarily be regarded as constituting a
reason for disciplinary action or a reason for not pursuing such action,
unless this would interfere with a police investigation, (in which case a
decision will be taken on an individual basis). The main consideration
should be whether the offence is one that makes the individual unsuitable
for the type of work they are employed to do. As far as circumstances will
allow, the matter should be investigated under the Trust’s Disciplinary
Policy before appropriate action, if required, is taken.
2. When considering the need for disciplinary action or suspension from duty,
management should have regard to the extent to which the offence,
alleged or committed, is connected with, or is likely to adversely affect the
employee’s performance or duties. Staff need to be aware that they are
contractually obliged to inform the Trust of any criminal conviction acquired
during the course of their employment.
3. When the alleged offence requires prompt attention, the Trust has the
discretion not to await the outcome of any prosecution before taking fair
and reasonable action. If the employee refuses to co-operate with the
Trust’s investigation and proceedings, the Trust may decide to take
whatever disciplinary action it believes appropriate in the light of the facts
established at the time of the disciplinary hearing.
4. The imprisonment of an employee will not necessarily mean the automatic
termination of their employment with the Trust. Each such case will be
dealt with individually. In some cases the length of imprisonment may
serve to frustrate the contract of employment. In others the Trust will seek
to deal with the matter under this policy in so far as this is practicable. The
Trust will generally consider whether the offence is one, which makes the
individual unsuitable for the type of work the employee is required to
perform. The impact their absence will have on the service will also be
considered. The employee will be given every opportunity to state their
position usually via their representative, before a decision is taken
concerning their future employment with the Trust. The member of staff will
not receive any pay during any period in prison whilst they remain an
employee of the Trust.
11. DISCIPLINARY HEARING
1. A manager with the authority to impose an appropriate disciplinary penalty
can only conduct disciplinary hearings. The manager may be the member
of staff’s own line manager. If the nature of the allegation is such that the
option of dismissal can be considered a possibility, a manager with the
authority to dismiss should conduct the disciplinary hearing. The employee
should be reminded of the warning, if appropriate, that dismissal might be
2. The Investigating Officer will usually present the case for management.
3. The Disciplining Manager must always be assisted by a representative
from Human Resources at all disciplinary hearings.
4. The employee should be given details in writing of the date, time and
venue of the hearing together with details of the allegation/s to be
considered, the reason why such conduct is unacceptable and their right
to be represented. A minimum of seven working days’ notice must be
given to enable the employee to prepare their case and arrange
5. The date of the hearing can be changed by mutual agreement providing
the new date is arranged, wherever practicable, within five working days of
the original date.
6. The employee must be given two copies of the management case together
with any documentation that will be produced at the hearing within 10
working days before the disciplinary hearing.
12. FAILURE TO ATTEND A DISCIPLINARY HEARING
1. An employee is expected to attend a disciplinary hearing that has been
convened to consider the allegation/s made against them. They will be
warned at the time they are notified of the hearing that a failure to attend
could result in the hearing continuing in their absence and a decision being
made on the evidence available at the time.
2. Disciplinary issues cannot be avoided indefinitely and must be concluded
as quickly as possible. An employee may request a postponement of a
hearing if their representative is not available. However, a new date must
then be requested and take place within five working days of the original
3. The employee is responsible for ensuring that the record of their current
address and telephone number has been notified to the Trust. If a failure
to do so results in the hearing having to be delayed an alternative date will
be organised within five working days of that date. The Disciplinary
Manager will have discretion in deciding if pay should continue if the
employee is on suspension. Under normal circumstances, a hearing will
only be re-arranged once.
4. If the employee fails to attend a re-arranged hearing, then the Disciplinary
Manager has the discretion to conduct the hearing in the employee’s
5. If the employee is unable to attend a hearing as instructed, as an
alternative, they may submit a signed written submission and be
represented by a colleague or trade union representative providing this is
agreed with the Disciplining Manager in advance of the hearing. While the
Trust recognises that it is in the best interest of the member of staff to
attend a hearing in person, it will not be delayed indefinitely because the
employee is unable to attend for whatever reason.
13. DISCIPLINARY PENALTIES
1. The disciplinary penalty imposed on an employee will depend on the
seriousness of the allegation/s. Disciplinary Managers are authorised to
consider one of the following penalties:
a. oral warning to remain on file for six months
b. written warning to remain on file for one year
c. final written warning to remain on file for one year
d. dismissal with notice.
e. dismissal without notice(summary dismissal)
2. In circumstances where dismissal with notice is an appropriate penalty, the
Disciplining Manager, as an alternative to this action, may investigate
downgrading and/or transfer to a more suitable job. This would only apply
in cases where it was inappropriate for the employee to remain in their
existing role and where it is felt more likely they will be able to work
effectively at the lower grade. A suitable vacancy must be available within
the same service area otherwise the original decision to dismiss will be
enforced. The Disciplining Manager may suspend or continue to suspend
the employee, with or without pay, for time to be given to complete the
redeployment process. This must be completed within 14 calendar days
from the date of the hearing. This timeframe may be extended by up to a
further 14 days in exceptional circumstances. A transfer may also be
considered where an allegation of harassment or bullying has been
formally upheld or a serious breakdown in Trust and confidence or loss of
faith has occurred. In all these circumstances, the Disciplinary Manager
has the express contractual power to make any amendment to the
employee’s terms and conditions that flow from their decision to
downgrade or transfer the employee to another job including a reduction in
pay. If the employee refuses to accept this decision, then there will be no
alternative but to dismiss them.
3. Where appropriate, reviews of written warnings must be carried out by the
employee’s line manager at regular intervals until such time as the warning
expires. The object is to establish that the improvements required are
taking place. If there are continuing difficulties, consideration may have to
be given to addressing these at a re-convened disciplinary hearing.
4. Warnings under the disciplinary policy may run simultaneously for different
breaches of discipline.
14. CONFIRMATION OF DISCIPLINARY DECISIONS
1. All disciplinary decisions should be confirmed in writing to the employee
within five working days of the hearing.
2. When disciplinary action is taken against the employee and were
applicable, they will be notified of their right of appeal.
3. Appeals against dismissal do not affect the employee’s effective date of
termination unless the dismissal is rescinded and the employee’s appeal is
upheld. The effective date of termination will be the date set out in the
15. REMOVAL OF RECORDS RELATING TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION
1. Any records relating to a disciplinary penalty held on the employee’s
personal file will no longer remain current and will automatically fall away
from the record when the appropriate period referred to in 13.1. above has
16. MEDICAL AND DENTAL STAFF
1. The disciplinary policy will apply equally to medical and dental staff who,
as employees of the Trust, are governed by its policies and procedures
relating to personal conduct and performance.
2. Where applicable, the provisions of Departmental of Health Circular HC
(90) 9 and any subsequent circulars and changes relating to professional
conduct and competence of medical and dental staff will be observed.
Such issues will not be covered by this policy.
1. Whenever possible, the appeal should be heard within five weeks from the
receipt of the employee’s stated intention to pursue an appeal.
2. All employees have the right to appeal against all disciplinary penalties
except an oral warning or informal counselling.
3. All appeals must be lodged in writing within fourteen calendar days of
receipt of the letter confirming the decision of the disciplinary hearing. Late
receipt of the employee’s notification of appeal may result in the loss of the
right of appeal.
4. There is one level of appeal against written warnings, which is to:
a. A Director of the service involved or their nominee.
b. The Chief Executive or their nominee, when a written warning
has been given by a Director of the service.
c. An appeal panel consisting of three members or associate
members of the Trust Board, when the written warning has been
given by the Chief Executive.
5. In dismissal cases, there is a single right of appeal to a panel consisting of
three members or associate members of the Trust Board. One member of
the panel will be the Director of Human Resources or their nominee to
advise the panel.
6. Appeals should be submitted in writing by the employee or their
representative to the Director of Human Resources, setting out clearly the
reasons for the appeal. These reasons must fall within one or more of the
a. The allegations were not adequately investigated or sufficiently
b. The Disciplinary Policy was not correctly applied.
c. The disciplinary action taken was unfair and unreasonable in all
d. There was no evidence presented at the disciplinary hearing
by a material witness.
e. New evidence has come to light.
7. It is within the appeal panel’s discretion to decide whether evidence will be
heard at the appeal hearing.
8. The panel has the power:
a. To reject the appeal in its entirety;
b. To uphold the appeal in its entirety;
c. To substitute a different sanction to that imposed by the
Disciplinary Manager to achieve an appropriate outcome.
d. Uphold or reject part of the appeal;
e. In the circumstances, consider moving the employee to another
job or location as contractually empowered to do.
9 A pro forma is available at Appendix D of this policy, which employees
should complete and return to the Director of Human Resources within the
time limit allowed.
9. All the parties involved in the appeal will be given at least fourteen
Calendar day’s notice of the date of the appeal hearing.
To assist in the understanding of this policy, the following definition of terms used in the
document are as follows:
The “Disciplining Manager” is the manager empowered to take disciplinary action at a
formal disciplinary hearing. In cases where dismissal may be a possible option they
must have the authority to take this action (normally Service Manager or above).
The “Investigating Manager” is the manager responsible for investigating allegations of
misconduct and for presenting management’s Statement of Case at a formal disciplinary
The “Staff Representative” can be a representative of any Trade Union recognised by
the Trust, or a fellow worker of the Trust or professional association. No other
representation is allowed including friends, relatives or legal representatives.
A “full time officer” is a full time employee of one of the recognised unions or
Standards of Clinical Conduct Expected of Staff in all areas of the Trust
The following is a summary of how the Trust expects all staff to conduct themselves in
terms of their clinical practice. The Trust is committed to delivering a high quality service to
the highest standards to all clients under its care and needs the support of all staff to
ensure this is realised. Management, at all levels, will provide the necessary clinical
support, education and training needed by staff to help them reach and maintain these
standards. You will be expected to abide by and show commitment to these standards of
clinical conduct as outlined below.
1. To carry out all the duties expected of you under your job description to the best of
your ability as well as taking all reasonable steps, in co-operation with the Trust, to
professionally develop your career. In addition, to bring concerns about your
personal performance promptly to the attention of your line manager in order for
appropriate support and training to be given.
2. To ensure you have a clear understanding of and are familiar with all the appropriate
Trust Clinical Policies and to keep up to date on any changes to these, applying
them at all times in your clinical practice.
3. To accept regular management supervision and to take part in clinical supervision
and appraisal and attend whatever training courses are considered necessary to
ensure your skills and the knowledge needed to perform your duties are kept up to
4. To abide by the GMC, NMC, GSCC or other professional Codes of Conduct as
appropriate and ensure that you maintain your professional level of competence.
5. To keep your professional registration up to date and be able to produce verification
of this when requested by the Trust.
6. To always be aware of the needs of all clients under your care and to carry out all
the duties required of you to the highest possible standards in order to meet these
7. To ensure you contribute to and co-operate with the work of the multi-disciplinary
8. To maintain confidentiality at all times and respect the privacy, dignity and rights of
patients and clients
9. To be accountable for the quality of the service you deliver to your patients and will
be expected to deliver this service to the standards laid down by your professional
body as well as by the Trust.
10. To be aware of and have respect for the cultural traditions and sensitivities of
colleagues and clients, to genuinely appreciate the needs of others and behave
towards them with dignity and respect. This includes understanding how other
people perceive your personal cultural values and behaviour and how these might
impact on their clinical well being. The Trust respects the cultural values of all staff,
but expects that these values will not interfere with or affect the well being of
colleagues, patients and clients.
11. To be committed to achieving the best possible standards of care in order to make a
difference to the quality of the lives of your patients and clients. This includes the
need to maximise the amount of face to face contact with patients and keeping to a
minimum administrative duties whilst still fulfilling such obligations.
12. To show professional respect and to be honest, open and transparent in your
dealings with people in terms of sharing your knowledge and experience with them.
To explain why things need to be done in a particular way and invite questions and
suggestions to clarify this.
13. To be approachable, respectful and show a real interest in getting to know both
colleagues, clients and their relatives in order to build sound relationships with them.
14. To reflect on how to find opportunities to develop and support the skills and
capabilities of ones colleagues, to be open to new ideas and to listen to their views in
return in order to gain new personal insights, knowledge and understanding.
15. To be committed to good performance and high standards of delivery, seeking and
accepting feedback from others on improving your personal performance. The focus
must be positive and staff should strive to continually seek ways of achieving tasks
and improving the delivery of service to patients and clients that it is reasonable for
them to expect.
16. To personally reflect on your performance as a means of self-development and
improvement and to seek guidance and support when ever necessary.
It is essential for each member of staff to maintain the above standards and to fully co-
operate with management in ensuring these are fully met. Any breaches of these standards
could lead to appropriate action being taken under the Trust’s Disciplinary or Capability
Policies, which could lead to dismissal.
Standards of Personal Conduct Expected of Staff in all areas of the Trust
The following is a summary of the standards of personal conduct expected of all staff
working across all areas of the Trust. It is appreciated that the client base can be
challenging at times, but the Trust believes that, given high standards of clinical and
personal competence as well as personal commitment, the Trust and its staff can deliver a
service to clients of which we can be proud.
Managers will be expected to focus on ensuring the delivery of high performance standards
and quality of care, being open, supportive and transparent. Every effort must be made to
build good working relationships with those they manage and to encourage commitment
from each member of staff by enabling and strengthening the skills and knowledge needed
to achieve the delivery of clinical outcomes our clients have a right to expect. They should
ensure that all staff are valued and understand their contribution to achieving both service
and Trust objectives.
In return and in addition to laid down clinical standards, the Trust has the right to expect
certain standards of personal conduct and behaviour from each individual member of staff
in order to ensure the smooth and efficient running of the Trust. This conduct covers the
following broad areas, but is not by any means exclusive. It reflects the common standards
of decency and behaviour expected of all staff as follows:
1. To co-operate fully with your line managers at all times and to carry out all
reasonable instructions as required in order to carry out your duties.
2. To be aware of the diversity of cultures among staff, clients and visitors and
appreciate how these can be utilised to deliver a quality service to our patients. To
be conscious of ones own personal attitudes and behaviour towards others and
reflect as to how appropriate these are in such a diverse setting. To consider the
impact this might have on colleagues, patients, visitors and service delivery.
3. To conduct relationships with managers, colleagues, clients and visitors in a
respectful, supportive and non- confrontational manner and to be conscious of the
need to maintain the reputation of the Trust. In order to avoid misunderstandings and
potential communication problems, English should be spoken at all times by staff
throughout their duty hours.
4. To be familiar with and follow all Trust Clinical and Employment Policies and to
appreciate that a manager has the right to ensure all staff within their area of
responsibility, follow and abide by these. Any failure to do so will be dealt with
5. Special emphasis is placed on all staff following the requirements of the Trust’s
Harassment and Bullying Policy and the need to avoid unacceptable conduct both
inside and outside the Trust, which could breach this policy and damage the
reputation of the Trust. This will entail managers and staff conducting relationships
with each other in a dignified and respectful manner. The Trust takes this issue very
seriously and will investigate legitimate complaints. However, the misuse of this
policy by bringing a malicious complaint will also be investigated under the Trust’s
6. In the interest of good order and discipline, the use of inappropriate verbal, non-
verbal or physical abuse of a racial, sexual or offensive nature towards any manager,
colleague, patient or visitor is not permitted under any circumstances. Such conduct
will lead to the matter being investigated under the Trust’s Disciplinary Policy.
7. The use of personal mobile phones to make and receive private calls during duty
hours is not allowed on the wards. Mobile phones, used for work, should only be
used during duty hours for Trust business, otherwise they must be switched off.
Exceptionally, any urgent personal calls should be directed to staff office landlines.
8. Line managers must be aware of the impact and effect their management style can
have on those they manage. They will treat their staff with dignity and consideration
and, in return, will have the right to be treated likewise by those they manage. All
staff must understand that managers are authorised by the Trust Board to carry out
their duties under the terms of their job descriptions and by the appropriate use of a
range of clinical and employment policies. Any member of staff who attempts to
unreasonably impede this legitimate process could leave themselves open to
9. Staff will be expected to co-operate with both clinical and managerial supervision,
which is designed to offer support in an open and sensitive manner to give both
parties the ability to address legitimate problems and areas of concern as well as
help them develop their careers.
10. There may be occasions when a member of staff believes they may have been
unfairly treated. They must make every effort to resolve this with their line manager
calmly and reasonably. The formal part of the Grievance Procedure should only be
used when the informal stage has been unsuccessful. All grievances will be dealt
with as quickly as possible and both manager and staff member will be expected to
maintain a normal business relationship pending the outcome of the grievance.
11. Issues concerning poor performance or unacceptable behaviour are dealt with under
the Trust’s Capability or Disciplinary Policies. Providing managers are using these
policies appropriately in all the circumstances, staff cannot use the Grievance
Procedure as a means of circumventing or delaying this legitimate process.
PROFORMA FOR AN EMPLOYEE TO USE WHEN SUBMITTING AN APPEAL AGAINST
A DISCIPLINARY PENALTY
All sections of this form must be complete in full by the employee or their
representative before a date for hearing the appeal will be set up. The reasons for the
appeal must be on the grounds set out in paragraph 16.6 of the Trust’s Disciplinary
Date of Disciplinary Hearing:
Name of Disciplining Manager:
Details of the Penalty Imposed:
You can submit an appeal on one or more of the following grounds. Please circle
each letter from the list below as appropriate:
a. The allegation was not adequately investigated or sufficiently substantiated.
b. The Disciplinary Policy was not correctly applied.
c. The disciplinary action taken was unfair and unreasonable.
d. Evidence from a material witness could not be presented at the hearing.
e. New Evidence has come to light.
Please go to Section 3 on the next page.
On the basis of each of the grounds you have circled in Section 2, please provide
detailed reasons and evidence, separately covering each of the grounds on which
you wish to appeal. You may use additional paper if the space provided is
The completed form should be sent to the Director of Human Resources at Greater
London House, Hampstead Road, London, NW1 7QY. A copy of management’s
response will then be sent to you and your representative.
Print Name: ____________________________________________
Disciplinary Flow Chart
Repeated Acts of Minor
Misconduct or Serious/Gross
Employee believed to have committed offence Misconduct not substantiated
Minor Miisconduct Disciplinary Hearing Employee Informed
No previous informal/written warning No further action
Counselling Informal Warning Minor misconduct Minor misconduct Serious Misconduct Serious Misconduct Serious Miisconduct Gross Misconduct
subtantiated substantiated/verbal substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated
Informal warning Written warning First written warning Final written warning
remains on file remains on file remains on file remains on file
Verbal/First Final written warning First or Final Final Written Warning Dismissal Dismissal
Written Warning (12 months) Written (12 months)