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					Disciplinary Policy




     Choice, Responsiveness, Integration & Shared Care
Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust Information Reader Box


Document Type:              Human Resources Policy

Document Purpose:           Best practice guidance

Unique identifier:          HR007

Title:                      Disciplinary Policy

Target Audience:            All Staff

                            The policy provides an agreed framework to enable disciplinary
Description:
                            matters to be dealt with properly and fairly.

Superseded Documents:       None

Ratified by:                Joint Negotiating Consultative Committee

Ratification date:          21st April 2008

Implementation date:        21st April 2008

Review period:              3 years

Version update date:        September 2010

Review date:                21st April 2011

Owner:                      Head of Human Resources

Responsible group:          Joint Negotiating Consultative Committee

                            Head of Human Resources
                            Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
Contact Details:            Isaac Maddox House
                            Shrub Hill Road
                            Worcester
                            WR4 9RW




         The electronic copy of this document is the only version that is maintained.
   Printed copies may not be relied upon to contain the latest updates and amendments.
              WORCESTERSHIRE MENTAL HEALTH PARTNERSHIP NHS TRUST

                                DISCIPLINARY POLICY
                                     CONTENTS

                                                                   Page No
1.           INTRODUCTION                                            3
2.           EQUALITY OF TREATMENT                                   4
3.           PRINICIPLES OF THE POLICY                               4

4.           REFERRAL TO A PROFESSIONAL ORGANISATION OR THE          4
             INDEPENDENT SAFEGUARDING AUTHORITY (ISA)
5.           REFERRAL PROCESS                                        5

6.           ALLEGED ABUSE OF CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS         5

7.           INITIAL PROCESS TO BE FOLLOWED                          6

8.           ALLEGATIONS AGAINST A TRADE UNION REPRESENTATIVE        7

9.           INFORMAL ACTION                                         7
10.          SUSPENSION                                              8
11.          THE ROLE OF THE TRADE UNION REPRESENTATIVE/             9
             COMPANION
12.          INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEWS                                10
13.          FORMAL ACTION                                           11
14.          USE OF WITNESSES                                        13
15.          DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS AND OUTCOMES                      14

16.          THE RIGHT OF APPEAL                                     17

17.          MONITORING/EFFECTIVENESS OF THE POLICY                  17
             APPENDICES:
1.           AUTHORITY TO DISMISS                                    18
2.           POLICY OF DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS                         19
3.           POLICY OF DISCIPLINARY APPEALS                          21
4.           GUIDANCE ON THE TRUSTS EMPLOYMENT RULES                 23
5.           DISCIPLINARY POLICY – SUMMARY                           25
6.           GUIDANCE ON RECORDING INVESTIGATORY INTERVIEWS          28
             AND HEARINGS
7.           ADDITONAL INFROMATION FOR DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS      29
             MADE AGAINST STAFF IN RELATION TO THE ABUSE OF
             VULNERABLE ADULTS AND OR CHILDREN




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Please cross reference this policy with

                         •   Capability Policy
                         •   Harassment and Bullying at Work Policy
                         •   Guidance on Recording Investigatory Interviews and Hearings
                         •   Standards on Business Conduct
                         •   Policy for Dealing with Conduct, Competence and Performance of
                             M&D Staff
                         •   Sickness Absence Management Policy and Policies
                         •   WMHPT Adult Protection Policy and Policies
                         •   WMHPT Safeguarding Children Policy
                         •   Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board Policies for
                             Managing allegations against staff who work with Children.
                         •   Disciplinary Policy
                         •   Grievance Policy
                         •   Whistle Blowing Policy
                         •   Counter Fraud Policy.
                         •   Nursing & Midwifery Council Code of Conduct
                         •   General Medical Council Code of Conduct
                         •   Independent Safeguarding Authority Policies




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WORCESTERSHIRE MENTAL HEALTH PARTNERSHIP NHS TRUST


                                     DISCIPLINARY POLICY

1.       INTRODUCTION

1.1      This Policy applies to all staff employed in the organisation. This includes all medical
         and dental staff in relation to their personal conduct. However please see HSC
         2003/012- Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS; Doctors’ and
         dentists’ disciplinary framework and the Trust’s Policy for Dealing with Conduct,
         Competence and Performance of Medical and Dental Staff concerning the professional
         conduct and competence of hospital medical and dental staff employed by the Trust.

1.2      Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership Trust has a zero tolerance of abuse of
         children and vulnerable adults. The Trust promotes a culture of ensuring that staff
         who work for the Trust are supported to ensure that service users and their carers
         and families who come into contact with the Trust, can be assured that the safety and
         well being of the aforementioned is of paramount importance. .

1.3      This policy also acknowledges that the nature of the work that is carried out by the
         trust will sometimes mean that allegations are made against staff without there being
         any substance to the allegation but may be due to the illness of the service user.

1.4      However it is also important that all such allegations are treated initially in the same
         way and that safety of all concerned is maintained and that all investigations into
         such allegations are recorded appropriately.


1.5      The purpose of this policy is to consider issues where an employees work performance
         or conduct has fallen below the recognised and acceptable standard. In these situations
         the manager will need to decide whether it is more appropriate to use the capability or
         the disciplinary policy. The main purpose of the disciplinary policy is to bring about an
         improvement in levels of performance or conduct.

1.6      The policy provides an agreed framework to enable disciplinary matters to be dealt with
         properly and fairly. Every employee can access a copy either via the Intranet and
         Internet or a copy can be obtained from the Human Resources Department. A
         summary of the different stages can be found in Appendix 5.

1.7      It is the responsibility of managers to ensure that the employees for whom they are
         accountable know the standards of work and conduct required. It is the manager's
         responsibility to ensure that each employee has received the appropriate induction and
         has been given adequate training and regular feedback to equip him/her to carry out
         his/her duties.

         If the allegation has criminal implications there may also be a need to involve the
         Police and where appropriate the Professional Safe Guarding of Adults& Children’s
         Lead. In cases of substantiated professional incompetence or misconduct, the Trust has
         a responsibility to notify the appropriate professional or statutory body.




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1.8      If the allegation is potentially fraud then it will be handed over to the local Counter Fraud
         Specialist for investigation first and a view as to whether any other investigation should
         wait until they have finished.

2.       EQUALITY OF TREATMENT

         Effective action shall be taken where proven to deal with cases of discrimination,
         victimisation or harassment, please see the Equal Opportunities Policy.

3.       PRINICIPLES OF THE POLICY

              •    Issues will be raised and dealt with promptly and there should not be any
                   unreasonable delays to meetings, decisions or confirmation of those decisions.
              •    Issues will be acted upon consistently
              •    Any investigations will be carried out as necessary, to establish the facts of the
                   case.
              •    Employees will be informed of the basis of the issues and they will be given the
                   opportunity to put their case in response before decisions are made.
              •    Where an employee raises a grievance during a disciplinary process the
                   disciplinary process may be temporarily suspended in order to deal with the
                   grievance. Where the grievance and disciplinary cases are related the Business
                   Unit Lead will consider whether it is appropriate to deal with both issues
                   concurrently after discussing this with the Human Resources Department and
                   trade union representative/ companion or employee.

4.       REFERRAL TO A PROFESSIONAL ORGANISATION OR THE INDEPENDENT
         SAFEGUARDING AUTHORITY (ISA)

a.       The outcome of an investigation may result in the need to refer the case to Nursing &
         Midwifery Council, General Medical Council, or other professional body.

b.       From October 12th 2009 all cases that result in dismissal due to either

•        inappropriate behaviour towards a child or vulnerable adult or
•        the nature of a criminal investigation leads to a conclusion that the member of staff is
         deemed unsuitable to continue in employment owing to concerns related to the
         safety of children and/or vulnerable adults must, under legislation laid out in the
         Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, be referred to the Independent Safeguarding
         Authority (ISA).

c.       Referrals are required to be made to ISA for all staff that are dismissed in the above
         circumstances and include staff that may not be professionally qualified. This
         legislation also applies to voluntary workers.

d.       ISA will make decisions based upon the evidence they receive as to whether the
         member of staff should be barred from working with Children and/or vulnerable
         adults.

e.       Following an ISA referral, if the ISA’s decision is ‘minded to bar’ an employee it will
         write to that individual seeking representations as to why they should not be barred
         from working or volunteering with children and/or vulnerable adults. The ISA will
         provide to that individual all the evidence that the ISA has relied on in making its
         ‘minded to bar’ decision. The individual will have eight weeks to make
         representations in writing to the ISA. Current employers and other bodies or


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         individuals with a registered legitimate interest in the individual will be notified in
         writing that the ISA is ‘minded to bar’ that individual.

 5.      REFERRAL PROCESS

         All disciplinary cases will be considered for referral to either a professional body or
         ISA. The decision to refer will be made by the Senior HR Manager, Named
         Professional Safeguarding Adults and Children and the Director for Service
         Development and Executive Nurse.

6.       ALLEGED ABUSE OF CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

a.       Anyone employed to work with vulnerable adults, or who look after children, has the
         responsibility to be aware of possible abuse, and to take appropriate action whenever
         there is a concern that abuse may have taken place or may occur unless someone
         does something to stop it.

b.       In circumstances where the alleged abuser is a member of staff the Manager
         receiving the allegation must consider which leads within the Trust need to be
         consulted. These may include:

         •         Named Professional for Safeguarding Adults and Children
         •         Lead Director for Safeguarding
         •         Human Resources Manager

c.       Referrals must also be made to the outside agencies who’s specific role it is to
         investigate allegations of abuse and crime
         i.e.
         •       Police
         •       Worcestershire County Council Children’s Services
         •       Worcestershire County Council Adult Protection Team

d.       Managers need to familiarise themselves with the relevant policies.

e.       Some staff may feel uneasy about reporting situations that constitute, or may lead to
         an investigation particularly when this involves a work colleague. In such
         circumstances they should be made aware of the Trust’s Whistle Blowing Policy
         which gives advice on how the Trust will work with them to avoid any adverse
         repercussions and look at all options available so that they are and feel supported.

f.       Staff should be clear that they do have a duty and responsibility to report such
         incidents or occasions of actual or potential abuse.

g.       Failure to report possible incidents actual or potential immediately may indicate
         varying degrees of collusion. Along with malicious allegations or those made for
         personal gain these would be viewed extremely seriously. It is the manager’s
         responsibility, in conjunction with the above Trust leads as appropriate, to assess
         whether such incidents or occasions would constitute abuse or verify or prove that
         the information they have is true.




7.       INITIAL PROCESS TO BE FOLLOWED

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7.1      On receipt of an allegation or concern which involves a member of staff the
         immediate manager and Business Unit Lead will make the decision, in conjunction
         with the Named Professional for Safeguarding Adults and Children and the Human
         Resources Manager whether it is necessary to make referrals to agencies such as
         the Adult Protection Team, Children’s Services or the Police. Even where it is felt that
         there may be no substance to an allegation the case should still be logged as an alert
         and appropriately recorded to identify why there is no ongoing investigation, this is in
         accordance with the Safeguarding and Vulnerable Adults processes.

7.2      Through this reporting process and discussion a decision will be made as to whether
         any immediate action needs to be taken e.g. that the employee needs to be
         suspended or temporarily redeployed. Any decision to suspend or redeploy an
         employee should only be made when, as far as possible, steps have been taken to
         establish that the allegations have some substance in line with the Trust’s disciplinary
         policy.

7.3      In making decisions regarding suspension or redeployment the first and foremost
         considerations must be the safety and well being of all vulnerable adults and
         children.

7.4      The abuse of children and vulnerable adults is likely to constitute a crime and
         therefore all such allegations should be referred to the police. The Business Unit
         Lead or if out of hours the on-call manager and the Police should be informed no
         later than 24 hours after the receipt of the allegation. In such circumstances a joint
         investigation may be necessary. Parallel investigations are possible but would have to
         be agreed with either the police or other external agency as appropriate.

7.5      Where the police are involved guidance needs to be sought from them as to when,
         where, and how formal interviews can be conducted. This does not stop staff from
         being asked to record what they know of the event in a form of a written document.
         Where it is deemed that a joint investigation is appropriate all staff will be expected to
         co-operate fully with the investigation.

7.6      All relevant facts should be collected in the form of a statement within 24 hours or as
         soon as possible thereafter before memories fade; including anything the member of
         staff wishes to say. Statements should be signed and dated by the witnesses.
         Employees must be informed that they can seek advice and support from their trade
         union representatives before submitting their statement. The person who the
         allegation/s has been made against should not submit a written statement unless the
         information is required for care.

7.7      The policy needs to be followed and advice sought when any decision is made,
         records will need to be kept stating when and how these decisions were made. A
         buddy can be established for members of staff who have had concerns/allegation
         made against them and also for witnesses where needed. However, this is in addition
         to any trade union representation that is available and may be helpful for individuals
         who are not union members.

7.8      If there are grounds to proceed, management must nominate an Investigating Officer
         to take the investigation forward. The Investigating Officer must be from outside the
         employees immediate work area, have had training to carry out investigations and
         with no prior involvement in the issue, to ensure impartiality. It must be noted



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         however that if the matter is subject to a police or counter fraud investigation, this
         may delay the internal investigation.

         Where it is necessary to undertake an investigation, the employee must be informed in
         writing that an investigation is taking place and advised of the precise allegations against
         him/her. It is however recognised that as an investigation develops the nature of the
         allegations may be clarified and/or change. Where this happens the employee must be
         kept informed of the developments in writing on a regular basis.

8.       ALLEGATIONS AGAINST A TRADE UNION REPRESENTATIVE

         Where the allegations are made against a Trade Union representative no action
         other than suspension, if the allegation requires it, should be taken until the matter
         has been discussed with the Head of Human Resources and the representative’s
         Full Time Officer.

9.       INFORMAL ACTION

         Cases of minor misconduct or unsatisfactory performance are usually best dealt with
         informally. The Capability Policy could be considered as more appropriate at this stage.

9.1      Where an employee appears to be failing to meet acceptable standards of work
         performance or conduct, the immediate manager must endeavour to deal with this by
         raising the issue with the employee.

         This is not part of the formal disciplinary policy. It is the first attempt to highlight problem
         areas and try to overcome them informally

9.2      The manager should arrange a meeting and make clear to the employee the areas
         which are causing concern.

         For example in a case of persistent lateness

         •    what standards are required
         •    Where he/she is falling short in meeting the standards.
         •    What improvement is required over a given period of time

         At the end of the meeting, an action plan should be set out with clear objectives and
         reasonable timescales for review. The manager will confirm the outcome in writing.

9.3      The manager should also attempt to ascertain if there is any reason for the employee’s
         attitude or behaviour with which he/she can be helped. Consideration may be given to
         such things as personal problems, environment and the need for further training.

9.4      Where the discussion identifies a lack of training or knowledge as the root cause the
         matter should be handled under the Capability Policy and appropriate training/education
         offered.


9.5      This meeting is not part of the formal disciplinary policy. The employee should however,
         be made aware that formal policies will be followed if the necessary improvement in
         behaviour, attitude, performance or conduct is not forthcoming. The manager will also
         need to take a view as to whether any subsequent action that might be necessary
         remains under this policy or moves to the Capability Policy


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10.      SUSPENSION

10.1     Where an allegation is of a serious nature, it may be felt necessary to suspend the
         employee on full pay, including any contractual enhancements or allowances, while the
         investigation is carried out.

         Suspension is not a disciplinary measure and it shall only be used if:

         • it is necessary to defuse a particular situation in the workplace;
         •  it is necessary to remove a potential risk to staff, patients, the employer’s property,
          etc;
         • it is necessary because it is reasonably believed that the employee’s presence in
            the workplace will hinder or prevent an investigation; or
         • It is necessary because it is reasonably believed that the employee may interfere
            with evidence or witnesses if allowed to remain in the workplace.

         NB Exclusion of medical and dental staff is covered in HSC 2003/012

         Suspension should only be considered after careful consideration of alternatives which
         would remove the individual from the workplace. For example, redeployment to another
         area where the nature of the allegation is not relevant

10.2     The appropriate HR Manager shall be consulted whenever possible before an employee
         is suspended.

10.3     Normally the authority to act as “suspending manager” will be given to dismissing
         officers (see Appendix 1), however a dismissing officer can delegate this authority to an
         appropriate senior member of staff who acts as the” suspending manager “with the
         authority to suspend pending full investigation.

10.4     All suspensions shall be for the minimum period possible. In all cases, the suspension
         should be regularly reviewed by the ‘suspending manager’ and an HR Manager during
         the course of the investigation; this should be recorded as having taken place.

10.5     When the decision is made to suspend an employee, the “suspending manager” will
         normally ask the employee to a meeting to discuss and explain this decision. The
         employee must be informed of the reason for suspension.

10.6     In exceptional circumstances it may not be possible to meet with the employee prior to
         suspension and in these rare cases the suspension will be confirmed in writing.

10.7     Written notice both of the suspension and the reasons for it and its lifting will be given or
         sent to the employee and copied to the employee’s trade union representative/
         companion without unreasonable delay.

10.8     During the period of suspension, the employee shall not be entitled, unless authorised
         by a senior manager, to have access to any of the Trust's premises and then may be
         subject to such conditions as the Trust may impose. They will however still have access
         to Occupational Health. The employee will be asked not to contact colleagues at work;
         however the Trust recognises that it cannot prevent any social contact with colleagues
         outside the workplace. If a meeting is required with the employee’s trade union
         representative on Trust premises the suspending manager must be contacted to agree a
         suitable venue.



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10.9     The employee will remain on suspension until he/she is advised otherwise. The
         employee must make him/herself available to attend any meetings connected with the
         investigation and must advise his/her manager of his/her whereabouts if he/she cannot
         be contacted at his/her home address for any reason. This means that during the period
         of suspension, no other paid or unpaid work should be undertaken during their contacted
         hours with this Trust.

10.10     During any period of suspension, the employee may request and / or take
         annual leave in accordance with normal policies. It should be noted that where an
         employee has been suspended the usual provisions regarding the carry over of annual
         leave will apply in accordance with the guidance on leave policy.

10.11 It should be noted that whilst on suspension an individual should receive the pay they
      would have received had they been at work including any                enhancements
      due. However, in exceptional circumstances staff will be deemed to be absent without
      pay. These exceptional circumstances will include:

         •     Where employees are arrested and detained. Pay will be reinstated if further action
               deems them to be not guilty.

         These examples are not exhaustive and decisions will be made on a case by case
         basis. However, where a decision is made to count an employee absent without pay,
         this decision will also be reviewed on the same basis as suspensions.

10.12 It should be noted that if the employee produces a doctors certificate during the period of
      suspension they will be recorded as being absent from work due to sickness absence.
      At the end of the period of sickness absence the suspension will be reviewed.

11.      THE ROLE OF THE TRADE UNION REPRESENTATIVE/ COMPANION

11.1     Employees have a right to be accompanied by a companion/ trade union
         representative.

11.2     The chosen companion/ trade union representative may be a fellow worker, a trade
         union representative, or an official employed by a trade union. A trade union
         representative who is not an employed official must have been certified by their union
         as being trained to accompany the employee.

11.3     The companion/ trade union representative should be allowed to address the
         meeting to put and sum up the employees case, respond on behalf of the employee
         to any views expressed at the meeting and confer with the employee during the
         meeting. The companion/ trade union representative does not, however, have the
         right to answer questions on the employee’s behalf, address the meeting if the
         employee does not wish it or prevent the employer from explaining their case.

11.4     Reasonable adjustments will be made for a worker with a disability and for their
         companion/ trade union representative if they are disabled

11.5     Fellow workers do not have to accept a request to accompany a worker, and they
         should not be pressurised to do so.

11.6     The trade union representative and employee will be contacted regarding the mutual
         agreement of a date and time of a hearing. If the companion/ trade union
         representative cannot attend on an agreed date, the employee can suggest an
         alternative time and date so long as it is reasonable and is not more than five working

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         days after the original date. If a manager is unable to attend the meeting on the
         agreed date and is unable to rearrange an alternative time and date not more than
         five working days after the original date a deputy or other appropriate manager will
         attend the meeting on their behalf.

11.7     Before the meeting takes place, the employee must inform the employer who they
         have chosen as a companion/ trade union representative.

12.      INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEWS

12.1     An investigations should be aimed to be completed within 6 months unless there are
         exceptional circumstances. There will be an effort made to complete the investigation in
         less than 6 months.

12.2     An investigation will include interviews with other employees to establish the facts.
         The employee against whom the allegations have been made can ask for witnesses
         to be interviewed if they feel they will support their case, these witnesses need to be
         identified to the investigating officer as soon as reasonable possible to avoid any
         delay in the investigation process. Any such should be made prior to the completion
         of the investigation.

         Witnesses interviewed as part of the investigatory process must be informed that
         they will be required to be available to give evidence at a disciplinary hearing should
         one be necessary.

         These interviews will be either taped or digitally recorded in accordance with ‘Taping
         of Interviews Guidelines’ provided interviewees consent to this .Failure to consent will
         not be held against an individual but they will have to recognise that there will not be
         a verbatim record of the interview, only notes.

12.3     The investigation will normally include a face to face interview with the employee
         against whom the allegations have been made. Again, this interview will be
         taped/digitally recorded provided the member of staff agrees.


         If the employee is unable to attend the interview, it will be rescheduled once if the
         employee can provide clarification that their absence is due to an illness related to a
         genuine physical health or mental health issue which causes difficulty with capacity.
         The interview will not be rescheduled a second time unless there are extenuating
         circumstances. On the rare occasion that the interview is unable to proceed, the
         Investigating Officer will request a response to written questions.

         If the employee against whom the allegations have been made does not attend the
         arranged interview or does not provide evidence that they are not fit to attend or does
         not submit a response to the written questions or a written statement, the
         investigation will proceed without the benefit of their evidence.

         If the employee is absent due to sickness, the employee should obtain statement of
         fitness from their GP in order to ascertain the likelihood of recovery and the
         prospects of the employee being fit to attend a disciplinary hearing and when this
         may take place. The decision to proceed will be balanced against the need to
         proceed with the process/hearing, the effect of the delay in not doing so upon other
         witnesses or upon the evidence itself. Before the decision is made to proceed in the
         absence of the employee, then consideration will also be given to whether the



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         employee has the opportunity to put his or her case through a representative who
         also has the opportunity to cross-examine management witnesses.


         Digitally recorded interviews will be kept until the conclusion of the investigation and
         subsequent hearing if required. The transcribed and written records of investigatory
         interviews must be kept including details of parties present, time and date, for 6
         years after the members of staff concerned leave the Trust's service. Witness
         statements should be dated and signed within the time limit given. .An investigation
         file should be established with all notes, transcripts and all witness statements. This
         information may be needed if disciplinary action follows an investigation

12.4     Following an investigatory interview the person being interviewed will be sent a
         written transcript of the discussion. Please note that this will not be a verbatim
         transcript but a record of all discernable dialogue.

         Where a written submission has been provided a copy should be retained by the
         employee.

12.5     It should be noted that this transcript or written submission will be used as a
         statement at a disciplinary hearing. Further it should be recognised that during the
         course of an investigation, if new facts are discovered, an employee may be
         interviewed on more than one occasion, in order to clarify any facts. However any
         additional information gathered must be added to the documentation prior to the
         completion of the investigation.

12.6     At the conclusion of the investigation the Investigating Officer will produce a written
         report of the findings and make any recommendations including whether they believe
         there is a case to answer. The commissioning manager who requested the investigation
         may discuss the findings with the investigating officer before reaching a decision,
         regarding the appropriate course of action. Following the investigation it may be felt that
         it is more appropriate to deal with the issues under a more appropriate policy such as
         the Capability Policy for example and at this stage the case can be transferred to that
         policy without a re-investigation.

12.7     The outcome of the investigation will be notified to the employee and their trade union
         representative/ companion with the employees consent by the manager within 5 working
         days of the presentation of the report to the manager. If this is not practicable the
         employee will be informed.

12.8      If the commissioning manager believes there is a case for disciplinary action, they will
         authorise a disciplinary hearing but should not be on the Panel. The investigating officer
         will be required to present the investigatory report at the disciplinary hearing.

13.      FORMAL ACTION

13.1     Notification

         An employee shall be given 10 working days notice that he/she is required to attend a
         formal disciplinary hearing

         Where the panel are considering allegations of Gross Misconduct or where
         dismissal may be an outcome the employee must be advised that the hearing
         could result in dismissal.


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         The employee and the employee’s trade union representative/ companion with the
         employees consent will receive in writing:
         • The precise allegations made against him/her;
         • A copy of the Investigating Officer’s report;
         • Copies of all witness statements including transcripts

         Where the HR Manager is concerned about an employee receiving this material directly
         they will contact the employees trade union representative/ companion with the
         employees consent to ensure support is available

         The documents will be sent out by recorded delivery 10 working days prior to the
         hearing but it is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that their employer is informed of
         a current address at all times.

         In exceptional cases, for example where witnesses are genuinely in fear for their safety
         from an employee who is the subject of an investigation it may be necessary to
         anonymise statements. In such a case however the witness will be questioned on the
         day by the Panel, and management and staff side representatives in private. However
         both management and trade union representative/ companions must ensure that the
         identity of the witness is not revealed and complete confidentiality is maintained.

13.2     Panel

         The disciplinary hearing will be heard by a three member panel that have had training in
         Panel Hearings and previous involvement in the case. Where it is relevant to the case
         one member of the panel should be from the employees own profession. The other
         member’s of the panel should be a Business Unit Lead and appropriate manager /
         senior manager/ HR manager who would be able to advise the panel. Exceptionally
         where either side feel there is a process issue that requires independent advice this can
         be made available.

         Where the panel are considering allegations of Gross Misconduct or where dismissal
         may be an outcome the Business Unit Lead on the panel must have the authority to
         dismiss. In exceptional circumstances this authority can be invested in a senior
         dismissing officer from a partner organisation or another NHS Trust.

13.3     Arrangements

         The date and time for the disciplinary hearing must be agreed with the employee and
         their trade union representative/ companion and the employee or just with the employee
         if they do not wish to be represented, and confirmed in writing. This should normally be
         with a minimum of 10 working days notice. If the complexity of the case means this is
         unachievable a later date can be mutually agreed but this should not exceed a further 10
         working days of the original date. If this date is subsequently cancelled by the employee
         or trade union representative/ companion, or management for whatever reason, a
         second date will be set. Unless there are exceptional extenuating reasons the case will
         be heard on the second date and if the employee is not present the Panel will proceed in
         his/her absence. In these circumstances the Panel will hear the management side case
         and consider this together with a written submission from the employee if he/she
         submits one by the due date. The decision will be made on the basis of the evidence
         that is presented. Should it be accepted that there are exceptional circumstances a third
         and final date will be set and the Hearing will proceed on that date.

         It is the Human Resources Department’s responsibility to make the necessary
         arrangements for the hearing and notify the members of the panel, including the

Disciplinary Procedure                                                                            12
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         employee, the employees trade union representative/ companion, and the
         investigating officer.,

13.4     Documentation

         The objective of any disciplinary hearing is to consider impartially both the management
         case and the employee’s response in order to reach a decision on the action to take and
         therefore both sides should have every opportunity to state their case.

         Panel members will receive copies of the Investigating Officer’s report and any
         documentation that staff side wish to submit and this will normally be 5 working days
         prior to the Hearing. If only one party has submitted written documentation that will be
         sent to the Panel Members.

         Normally late submissions of additional documentation to the written case will not be
         allowed. However, if either party has a late submission, both sides will approach the
         Chair jointly to hear the reasons for late submission. The final decision rests with the
         Chair. Therefore the side in question should ensure they have 4 additional copies
         available to ensure the Panel can follow the presentation accurately.

         Full documentation of all action taken at any stage is an essential integral part of the
         proceedings, including notes of any hearings.


14.      USE OF WITNESSES

         Where management or the employee/ trade union representative/ companion wish’s to
         call witnesses, the Panel must be advised of these 5 days prior to the disciplinary
         hearing via the Human Resources Department, with copies of the witness statements to
         be made available to all parties.

         All witnesses, whose statements are included in the management or trade union
         representative / employee’s case, must be available to attend the Disciplinary hearing,
         except in the case where management and trade union representative/ employee agree
         that their attendance is not necessary. It is the responsibility of the employee or their
         trade union representative/ companion to arrange for their witnesses to be present.
         Managers must release the employee’s witnesses to attend hearings.

         If it is difficult for the employee or the trade union representative to contact the witness
         the Human Resources Department will assist with facilitating this process, e.g. forward
         letters to witnesses on behalf of trade union representatives. Both sides may bring any
         relevant witnesses to the hearing(s). However, they must be Individuals who can make a
         contribution related to the specific allegations, this would not, therefore, include
         character witnesses or any third party hearsay witnesses.

         Although character witnesses may not attend in person written statements from
         character witnesses may be included in the paperwork provided they are contributing
         towards any mitigating circumstances.

         The Human Resources Department will ensure that both sides are made aware of the
         names of each other’s witnesses 5 working days prior to the hearing. Where the
         employee or trade union representative/ companion wants the opportunity to cross-
         examine any other witnesses at the hearing they should make it known at this point.




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         It should be noted that either side or the panel can request a witness to attend the
         hearing and give evidence. Witnesses are obliged to attend if requested unless

         •    The witness is too ill to attend the disciplinary hearing.
         •    The statement is provided by a patient/member of the public/ external organisation
              who is unable to attend or refuses to attend and who cannot be required to attend
              the hearing as they are not a Trust employee.

         The above list is not exhaustive and serves as an outline of some of the
         circumstances, which may arise when it is not possible for the witness to attend a
         disciplinary hearing.

         In cases where a witness feels undue anxiety, for example in harassment and
         bullying cases, he/she may be accompanied by a trade union representative/
         companion see section 5 of this policy. When a witness is to be accompanied, the
         Chair of the Panel should be advised in advance

15.      DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS AND OUTCOMES

15.1     Conduct of Disciplinary Hearings

         Details of the policy to be followed during the hearing can be found in Appendix
         2.The disciplinary hearing will be recorded either by taping/digitally or written notes.
         The outcome of the hearing will always be confirmed in writing to the employee, and
         a copy retained on their personal file. The disciplining manager should also retain
         documentation used in the hearing, in case there is an appeal. If there is no appeal,
         the documentation is forwarded for retention by the HR Department.


15.2     Possible Outcomes

         It is not necessary for all sanctions to be punitive in nature. They can be designed to
         achieve an improvement in behaviour or performance and the Panel will need to
         consider this.

         Acts of misconduct vary in seriousness from minor breaches to serious and gross
         misconduct; Appendix 4 gives illustrations of the categories of misconduct. Whilst the
         policy is designed to be a series of progressive warnings to employees, it may be
         necessary in exceptional circumstances to proceed directly to the use of the final written
         warning, or even consideration of dismissal, without prior counselling or disciplinary
         warning in light of the seriousness of the offence.

         There may be occasions when the panel decide to award sanctions as an alternative
         to dismissal. In these circumstances they may make recommendations in addition to
         any warning issued, these may include:

         •    Downgrading (no salary protection payable)
         •    Transfer to another department or site (no excess mileage payable)
         •    Change of shift pattern (no salary protection available)

15.3     Stage 1- First Written Warning

         If a Disciplinary Panel decides that a first written warning should be given:



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              •    The employee shall be advised of the reason for the warning and any additional
                   recommendations and that it is the first stage of the formal disciplinary action.
                   There must be a written statement of the aspects that are considered to be
                   unsatisfactory together with the improvements required and timescales where
                   appropriate.

              •    Two copies of the written warning and any recommendations, together with the
                   right of appeal to the next level of management, must be issued to the employee
                   who must sign and return one copy to be placed on his/her personal file. This will
                   also be copied to the employee’s trade union representative/ companion with
                   the employees consent involved in the case. The right of appeal shall be to a
                   three member panel who have not been previously involved in the case. Where
                   it is relevant to the case one member of the panel will be from the appellant’s
                   own profession, where practicable. If it is not possible then a member from the
                   profession may be invited to attend as adviser to the panel. The appeal must be
                   lodged in writing, stating the grounds of the appeal, with the Head of Human
                   Resources within 15 working days of the date of the warning letter.

              •    The written warning will remain in place for 12 months. Any further recurrence of
                   the same or similar offence may lead to further disciplinary action being taken.
                   After 12 months the written warning will be regarded as spent.

15.4     Stage 2 - Final Written Warning

         15.4.1 This follows the same policy as Stage 1, section 16.3

         15.4.2 However, the warning must make it clear that any recurrence of a similarly
                serious offence may result in dismissal.

         15.4.3 The final written warning will remain in place for 18 months. Any further
                recurrence of the same or similar offence will lead to further disciplinary action
                being taken. After 18 months the final warning will be regarded as spent.


15.5     Stage 3 – Dismissal or Dismissal for Gross Misconduct

         15.5.1 With the exception of gross misconduct, Stage 3 shall never be the first attempt
                to deal with any offence.

                   Normally, ill treatment of patients if the allegations were upheld would result
                   in dismissal as gross misconduct and be heard under stage 3 immediately.

                   At this stage it is essential that the panel includes a manager with the authority to
                   dismiss see appendix 1.

         15.5.2 This stage consists of:-

                   a)     A hearing where the individual must be clear that this is a disciplinary
                          hearing which may result in dismissal.

                   b)      Dismissal may be considered where:-

                          i)      the employees performance has not improved after a final written
                                  warning within the given time period.


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                            ii)     the employee commits an offence constituting gross misconduct
                                    (see Appendix 4) which does not necessarily occur in the course
                                    of the actual work or at the place of work but which could be
                                    thought likely to affect the employee, while doing his/her work.

         Where under slightly different circumstances the panel would have dismissed the
         employee, they may choose to issue a final written warning and make other
         recommendations.

         Two copies of the letter confirming the action short of dismissal and the right of appeal
         must be issued to the individual within 5 working days with a copy to the Staff side
         Representative involved. The individual must sign and return one copy to be place on
         his/her personal file.

         An appeal must be lodged in writing, stating the grounds of the appeal, with the Head of
         Human Resources within 15 working days of the date of the warning letter.

15.5.3 If the decision is taken to dismiss, the letter to the employee, with a copy to the staff side
       representative shall be issued within 5 working days stating:

                   •     The reasons for the dismissal and the date on which the employment shall
                         terminate

                   •      The right of appeal to a three-member panel, including an Executive
                         Director, which must be lodged in writing, stating the grounds of the appeal,
                         with the Head of Human Resources within 15 working days of the date of the
                         dismissal letter. One member of the panel shall be from the appellant’s own
                         profession where practicable. Where this is not possible, a member of the
                         relevant profession may be in attendance as an adviser to the panel. For the
                         purposes of this panel the Head of Human Resources or Senior HR
                         Manager will be recognised as a co-opted member of the Board

                   •     Confirmation of the pay in lieu of notice due under the terms of his/her
                         contract if applicable.

         Please note that gross misconduct is behaviour that warrants summary
         dismissal. In such exceptional cases this will be summary dismissal and there
         will be no right to notice or pay in lieu of notice.



16.      THE RIGHT OF APPEAL

16.1     Employees have the right of appeal against any disciplinary action including dismissal.
         However, if an appeal is lodged against dismissal, the dismissal still stands until the
         appeal is heard. If on appeal a decision is taken to re-instate the employee, any loss of
         pay shall be made good. However, where dismissal is rescinded but replaced by a
         lower level of warning, there is no further appeal and the time limits applicable to that
         level shall apply.

16.2     Details of the arrangements required for an appeal hearing and the policy to be followed
         during the hearing can be found in Appendix 3.

         Where an appeal is lodged and heard the following outcomes may result:


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         •    The appeal is upheld and the disciplinary action is rescinded

         •    The appeal is not upheld and the disciplinary action stands

         •    The appeal is not upheld but the disciplinary action is felt to be too severe and is
              reduced

17.      MONITORING/EFFECTIVENESS OF THE POLICY

         This Policy will be subject to joint monitoring and will be reviewed through the
         Human Resources Department and JNCC as per the review date. The
         effectiveness of this policy will be measured by randomly selecting three
         cases and comparing them against the policy to ensure the process has been
         followed.




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                                                                       APPENDIX 1
                                  AUTHORITY TO DISMISS

Authority to dismiss shall be vested in the following managers for:


Mental Health Partnership Trust

Chief Executive
Director of Resources
Chief Operating Officer
Director of Medical Development
Director of Service Development and Executive Nurse
Company Secretary
Associate Director- Business Management
Integrated Learning Disabilities Business Unit Lead
Adult Community Services Business Unit Lead
Older Adult Services Business Unit Lead
Adult Acute Service Business Unit Lead
Substance Misuse and Prison In-reach Service Business Unit Lead
Primary Care Service Business Unit Lead
Head of Human Resources
Head of Facilities


This authority is delegated by the Board to any member of staff in any of the above roles
who have been seconded in from another employer.




                                                                       APPENDIX 2

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                                   POLICY FOR DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS

       In order to ensure consistency throughout the Trusts, the following arrangements have
       been agreed with the Trade Unions through the JNCC and must be followed for every
       disciplinary hearing.

       It should be noted that, in exceptional circumstances, a disciplinary hearing, which has
       been arranged, and a date agreed, may be re-arranged at the request of either side on
       one occasion. However, in the case of a requested second postponement, the hearing
       will proceed unless there are exceptional circumstances

       It should be noted that hearings will be taped /digitally recorded

       1.       ARRANGEMENTS ON THE DAY
AMENDED1.1      Each party shall be allocated a separate room for themselves and any witnesses they
JAN 2003
                intend to call. If this is not possible each party will be contacted to ensure suitable
                alternative arrangements are in place.

       1.2      The designated Chair of the Panel shall introduce all parties and go through the format
                for the hearing. Nothing in the Policy prevents the Panel from adjourning at any stage to
                clarify or amplify any statement or for example to seek advice on procedural issues.
                Adjournments can be requested by either side or by panel members. The length of the
                adjournment must be agreed with both parties and should be what is reasonable in the
                circumstances


       1.3      The management side shall open by presenting their case in the presence of the staff
                member and, where there is one, trade union representative/ companion. Witnesses
                may be called and questioned.

       1.4      The staff member or trade union representative/ companion may then ask questions of
                the management side representatives and witnesses.

       1.5      The panel members may then have an opportunity to ask questions.

       1.6      The management side may then re-examine the witnesses if necessary. The witnesses
                shall then withdraw but, if the Panel feel it is necessary, they can be asked to wait.

       1.7      The trade union representative/ companion or employee shall then present their case in
                the presence of the management side and call witnesses and question if necessary.

       1.8      The management side may then question of the employee to whom the allegations have
                been made against, the staff side representative and any witnesses.

       1.9      The panel may then ask questions.

       1.10     The trade union representative/ companion or employee may then re-examine the
                employee to whom the allegations have been made against and any witnesses if
                necessary. The witnesses shall then withdraw; however, the Panel can request them to
                wait outside if necessary.

       1.11     If the chair of the panel feels it is necessary to receive further information from either
                party, the chair of the panel can adjourn the hearing for this information to be presented

       Disciplinary Procedure                                                                             19
       230810
         to the hearing. This should be completed in a reasonable and agreed timescale to
         minimise delay.

1.12     The management side shall then be asked to sum up, followed by the trade union
         representative/ companion or employee.

1.13     No new information can be introduced at this stage of the hearing or requested by the
         Panel.

1.14     The Panel shall then adjourn to make a decision. If any points requiring clarification
         arise, BOTH sides must be recalled together, even if only one side is concerned.
         This adjournment can also allow for any further checking of any matters raised,
         particularly if there is any dispute over facts.

1.15     Where the panel are unable to reach a decision on the day of the hearing reasons must
         be given and the Chair of the panel will ask the employee whether they wish to receive
         the decision in writing or whether they wish both sides to be recalled to hear the
         decision., If the decision is made that both sides are to be recalled, this will take place
         within 5 working days. If the employee confirms that they shall be notified of the Panel’s
         decision in writing, this will be within 5 working days of the panel reaching a decision.

1.16     The decision must always be clearly set out including the reasons why this is felt
         appropriate. The Panel must provide a written decision in all cases and that must be
         sent to the employee and trade union representative/ companion if agreed by the
         employee. The employee must also be notified of their right of appeal within 5 working
         days of the Panel reaching its decision.

NOTE


         Certain managers within the Trust have been delegated the power to dismiss and they
         are the only people who can terminate contracts. The list is contained in Appendix 1 of
         the Disciplinary Policy which is available on the Trust’s intranet and internet.




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                                                                                       APPENDIX 3

Amended June 2010

                             POLICY FOR DISCIPLINARY APPEALS

In order to ensure consistency throughout the Employing Organisation, the following
arrangements have been agreed with the Trade Unions through the JNCC and must be
followed for every disciplinary appeal.

It should be noted that, in exceptional circumstances, an appeal hearing, which has been
arranged, and a date agreed, may be re-arranged at the request of either side on one occasion.
 However, in the case of a requested second postponement, the hearing will proceed

1.       PRE-HEARING

         Before any disciplinary appeal commences, all the Panel members and Presenting
         Officer’s MUST have copies of:

          •    the written allegation
          •    the written record of the disciplinary hearing
          •    the written investigatory report and any management side case presented at the
               hearing
          •    the written employees case presented at the hearing
          •    the appeal letter to the Head of Human Resources outlining the reasons for appeal
          •    the letter from the Chair of the Panel of the original hearing outlining the panel
               decision.

          In addition both the management side and trade union representative/ companion or
          employee need to make available to the panel any further information that they wish the
          panel to consider. If this is new information which was not available at the disciplinary
          hearing, the panel will need an explanation to why it was not presented at the
          disciplinary hearing.

         The HR Department will forward the above documents to the Panel and Presenting
         Officer’s at least 10 working days before the Appeal. If this is not possible each party will
         be contacted to ensure suitable alternative arrangements are in place. In the event that
         new evidence emerges between the original disciplinary hearing and appeal hearing this
         evidence must be included in the information presented to the appeal panel no later than
         five working days before the appeal hearing.

         If the employee or their representative feels that a witness should have been called at
         the original disciplinary hearing and they were not, they should advise the appeal panel
         as part of their case and ensure that the witness is available to attend the appeal
         hearing. However, if it is difficult for the employee or the trade union representative to
         contact the witness the Human Resources Department will assist with facilitating this
         process,

         It should be noted that the appeal hearing will be taped for transcription with the
         agreement of the employee.


2.       ARRANGEMENTS ON THE DAY



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2.1      Each party shall be allocated a separate room

2.2      The designated Chair of the Appeal Panel shall introduce all parties and go through the
         format for the hearing. Nothing in the Policy prevents the Appeal Panel from
         adjourning at any stage to clarify or amplify any statement. The length of any
         adjournment must be agreed with both parties. Adjournments can be requested
         by either side or by Appeal Panel members

2.3      The Chair of the Appeal Panel will normally open by inviting the trade union
         representative/ companion or employee to present the basis of their appeal, outlining
         their reasons. Any witnesses for staff side who were present at the original disciplinary
         hearing may be called and questioned in relation to the grounds of appeal.

2.4      The management side may then ask questions of the employee or trade union
         representative/ companion and any witnesses.

2.5      The Appeal panel members may then have an opportunity to ask questions.
         Management Side re-examine the witnesses.

2.6      The management side shall then respond to the basis of the appeal outlining the
         reasons the original disciplinary panel reached its conclusion in these areas. Any
         witnesses for management side who were present at the original disciplinary hearing
         may be called and questioned in relation to the grounds of the appeal.

2.7      The employee or trade union representative/ companion may then question the
         management side representatives and any witnesses.

2.8      The Appeal panel may then ask questions. Trade Union Representative/ Companion /
         Employee re-examine the witnesses.

2.9      The employee or trade union representative/ companion shall then be asked to sum
         up, followed by the management side.

2.10     The Appeal Panel shall then adjourn to make a decision. If any points requiring
         clarification arise, BOTH sides must be recalled together, even if only one side is
         concerned. This adjournment can also allow for any further checking of any matters
         raised, particularly if there is any dispute over facts.

2.11     Once a decision is reached, which is normally on the same day, both sides are recalled
         and informed together. If a decision cannot be reached immediately, both sides are
         recalled, given the reasons for this and informed they shall be notified in writing. This will
         be within five working days of the panel reaching a decision.

2.12     The decision must always be clearly set out including the reasons why this is felt
         appropriate. The Appeal Panel must provide a written decision which is sent to the
         employee, or trade union representative.




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230810
                                                                                     APPENDIX 4
                  GUIDANCE ON THE ORGANISATION’S EMPLOYMENT RULES

1.       INTRODUCTION

         1         This guide is intended to provide employees with an understanding of the
                   employment rules and gives specific examples of unacceptable conduct
                   which may lead to dismissal or summary dismissal (termination of
                   employment with no notice or no pay in lieu of notice). It is not an exhaustive
                   list

         2         These rules are not intended to set out an exhaustive list, but are intended to
                   spell out as clearly as possible to employees the forms of disciplinary
                   breaches which are likely to give rise to formal disciplinary action or summary
                   dismissal.

         3         Your manager will inform you of any specific rules or policies which apply in
                   the local work situation, and when a breach of rules is likely to result in
                   disciplinary action. These rules should normally cover issues such as
                   absence, health & safety, misconduct, sub-standard performance, use of
                   Trust facilities, timekeeping and holiday arrangements.

         4         If you have any questions regarding this document, you should discuss them
                   with your manager or contact the Human Resources Department.

2.       CONDUCT WHICH WARRANTS DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREVIOUS WARNINGS
         MAY LEAD TO SUMMARY

         The following are examples of offences which may be regarded by the Employer, in
         the light of the circumstances and nature of each particular case, as gross
         misconduct, thus warranting dismissal, without previous warnings. This list is to be
         regarded as neither exclusive nor exhaustive.

         Breaches of policies, etc. — Serious offences which are in breach of any of the
         Employing Organisation’s agreed policies/policies or recognised national legislation.

         Confidentiality — Serious breaches of confidentiality relating to patients/clients, staff
         or other persons. This would include deliberate abuse or misuse of a Smartcard.

         Corruption — Receipt of any gift or consideration of any kind, other than of minor
         value, from contractors or their agents, any organisations, firms, individuals, patients
         or visitors with whom the employee is brought into contact by reason of their official
         duties, as an inducement or reward.

         Criminal convictions — Convictions received outside work which make the
         individual unsuitable for his/her type of work. Where an employee has been
         convicted of a criminal offence it will be for the Employer to establish the nature of
         the offence and decide whether the conviction is relevant to the person’s duties in the
         Trust. It is the employee’s obligation to inform the Employer of any convictions
         obtained during the course of their employment.

         Discrimination — Any action by an employee which is discriminatory in terms of the
         Employer’s Equal Opportunities Policy, and specifically any act of racial, sexual or


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         disability discrimination or racial/sexual harassment.

         Drugs/alcohol — Being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances to
         such an extent as would put at risk either themselves, other staff, patients, visitors or
         members of the public.

         Fraud/falsification — Any attempt to defraud the Employing Organisation and/or its
         employees or deliberate falsification of records. Any fraud whether committed at or
         external to the workplace either on or off duty. This would also include the
         falsification of records which would result in additional remuneration.

         Gross or wilful negligence of duties — In respect of performance of duties
         which employees are employed to carry out, including the duties of care
         encompassed by the Employing Organisation’s Health and Safety Policy and health
         and safety
         legislation.

         Mental Health Act — The following offences which incorporate a breach of the
         current Mental Health Act or the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or subsequent
         legislation:

                   •     The ill-treatment or wilful neglect of a patient receiving treatment, i.e.
                         under the care of any employee of the Organisation.

                   •     Sexual intercourse/activity with a patient receiving treatment as a
                         patient or service user, i.e. under the care of any employee of the
                         Organisation

                   •     To induce, knowingly assist a patient to be absent without leave or
                         knowingly harbour a patient absent without leave, or to hinder or
                         interfere with a patient’s return to hospital under the Mental Health
                         Act].

         Professional competence/conduct — Any serious breach of professional
         competence/conduct.

          Failure to obey reasonable verbal or written instructions from your manager, or other
         supervisory member of the management team.

         Theft/misappropriation — Actual or attempted theft/misappropriation from the
         Trust, its staff, patients or the public and other offences of dishonesty.

         Violence and aggression — Any violence, aggression or abuse towards another
         member of staff, a patient/visitor or a member of the public. This includes foul or
         abusive language used in circumstances which would cause extreme distress to any
         employees, patients or members of the public.




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230810
*    Please read across each row for guidance on each stage of the policy                                                                                       APPENDIX 5

DISCIPLINARY POLICY – SUMMARY

                                                                                              MANAGEMENT
                                                RIGHT TO STAFF            MANAGEMENT                                                                               APPEAL
                          DEFINITION                                                          DOCUMENTATI           TIMESCALES               HR ROLE
                                               REPRESENTATION             INVOLVEMENT                                                                              RIGHTS
                                                                                                  ON
      INFORMAL         First attempt to      Not applicable, this stage   Immediate          • Action plan        Timescale for         Advice to manager        Not
        ACTION         highlight problem     is a one-to-one meeting.     Manager                                 review to be          re. process              applicable
                       areas and try to                                                                           agreed.
                       overcome them.
     SUSPENSION        Removal from          Where practicable at         Dismissing         •   Suspension       Duration of           Advice to                Not
                       duty on full pay      suspension interview, but    Officer, see           letter           investigation and     suspending officer       applicable
                       for the duration of   if not available, process    Appendix 1,                             disciplinary          on policy
                       investigation and     should not be delayed        however this                            hearing
                       any subsequent                                     authority can be
                       disciplinary                                       delegated
                       hearing.
    INVESTIGATION      Authorised            Employee may be              Investigating      •   Notes of all     To take place         Advice to                Not
                       manager               accompanied by a trade       Officer                investigatory    very soon after       investigating officer    applicable
                       investigates event    union representative/                               meetings and     allegation arises.    on policy; will also
                       surrounding           companion. Witnesses                                corresponden     To be completed       accompany the
                       allegations. May      may also choose to be                               ce               as soon as is         investigating officer
                       take witness          accompanied by a trade                          •   Witness          practicable within    and be able to ask
                       statements and        union representative/                               statements       6 months, unless      any questions for
                       will interview the    companion                                       •   Relevant         there are             points of
                       employee who the                                                          records e.g.     exceptional           clarification.
                       allegations have                                                          drug             circumstances.
                       been made                                                                 sheet/petty      Where there is a
                       against to                                                                cash receipts    suspension these
                       ascertain if any                                                                           must be reviewed
                       management                                                                                 monthly to see
                       action is                                                                                  whether it is still
                       necessary.                                                                                 necessary
      STAGE 1          For a minor           Employee may be              Immediate          •   All of the       Written warning       Attendance at the        Please see
                       offence, or if        accompanied by a trade       Manager                above            valid for 12          hearing to support       Policy
    FIRST WRITTEN      informal action       union representative/                           •   Invite to        months.               the panel and ask
       WARNING         has failed,           companion                                           Disciplinary                           any questions for
                       together with                                                             Hearing letter   Thereafter            points of
                       explanation of                                                        •   Confirmation     regarded as spent     clarification.
                       required                                                                  of written       and removed.
                       performance/                                                              warning letter                         Accompany the
                       behaviour and                                                                                                    investigating officer
                                                                                                                                                                              25
                  details of                                                      •   Notes of                                and be able to ask
                  improvements                                                        disciplinary                            any questions for
                  needed                                                              hearing                                 points of
                                                                                                                              clarification.


    STAGE 2       Employees            Employee may be          Senior manager    •   All of the        Written warning       Attendance at the       Please see
                  unsatisfactory       accompanied by a trade                         above             valid for 18          hearing to support      Policy
 FINAL WRITTEN    performance          union representative/                      •   Invite to         months.               the panel and ask
    WARNING       persists/a further   companion                                      Disciplinary                            any questions for
                  offence is                                                          Hearing letter.   Thereafter            points of
                  committed but is                                                •   Confirmation      regarded as spent     clarification.
                  not so serious as                                                   of written        and removed.
                  to warrant                                                          warning letter                          Accompany the
                  dismissal.                                                      •   Notes of                                investigating officer
                                                                                      disciplinary                            and be able to ask
                                                                                      hearing                                 any questions for
                                                                                                                              points of
                                                                                                                              clarification.




DISCIPLINARY POLICY – SUMMARY (continued)

    STAGE 3       Employees            Employee may be          Dismissing        •   All of the        Dismissal             Attendance at the       Please see
                  unsatisfactory       accompanied by a trade   Officer, see          above             effective from        hearing to support      Policy
   DISMISSAL      performance          union representative/    Appendix 1, and   •   Invite to         date of hearing       the panel and ask
                  persists/a further   companion                at least one          Disciplinary      with pay in lieu of   any questions for
                  offence occurs or                             other manager.        Hearing letter    notice                points of
                  an act(s) of gross                                              •   Details of                              clarification.
                  misconduct is                                                       suspension (if
                  committed                                                           any)                                    Accompany the
                                                                                  •   Details of                              investigating officer
                                                                                      investigation                           and be able to ask
                                                                                  •   Record of                               any questions for
                                                                                      disciplinary                            points of
                                                                                      hearing                                 clarification.
                                                                                  •   Confirmation
                                                                                      of dismissal
   SUMMARY        Any act(s) of        Employee may be          Dismissing        •   All of the        Dismissal             Attendance at the       Please see
   DISMISSAL      gross misconduct     accompanied by a trade   Officer, see          above             effective from        hearing to support      Policy
                                                                                                                                                                   26
                         is committed and        union representative/   Appendix 1, and   •   Invite to        date of hearing       the panel and ask
      Without any        it is felt that there   companion               at least one          Disciplinary     with no pay in lieu   any questions for
    payment in lieu of   are exceptional                                 other manager         Hearing letter   of notice             points of
        notice           circumstances                                                     •   Details of                             clarification.
                         which will result in                                                  suspension (if
                         the withholding of                                                    any)                                   Accompany the
                         notice pay. E.g.                                                  •   Details of                             investigating officer
                         imprisonment this                                                     investigation                          and be able to ask
                         example is not                                                    •   Record of                              any questions for
                         exhaustive                                                            disciplinary                           points of
                                                                                               hearing                                clarification.
                                                                                           •   Confirmation
                                                                                               of dismissal

NOTES:

1      In the absence of a dismissing officer, a nominated deputy, acceptable to the member of staff will be used.

2      An immediate manager is authorised to suspend, and conduct investigations. As a matter of principle, the investigating officer should not be the
       person who issues a disciplinary warning (if given). If the immediate manager is in doubt as to the potential seriousness of the offence(s), he/she
       should seek advice from the Human Resource Department and it may be appropriate to refer this matter to the Business Manager
.

3      Only managers identified in Appendix 1 are authorised to issue final written warnings or dismiss. Where this affects a direct subordinate, a Business
       Manager from another Directorate may conduct the disciplinary hearing and decide on the appropriate penalty.

4      Where an accredited Trade Union Representative may be subject to disciplinary action, his/her Full Time Officer must be notified immediately by the
       Head of Human Resources.

5      Please follow the detailed disciplinary policy and contact the Human Resources Department for further advice before taking any action.




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                                                                              APPENDIX 6

                    GUIDANCE ON RECORDING INVESTIGATORY
                          INTERVIEWS AND HEARINGS

Introduction

The recording of interviews and hearings will facilitate full and more accurate records
for the investigating officer as well as for the interviewee(s) and, in the case of hearings,
the panel members.

It is intended to use the facility of recording only for interviews being conducted as part
of a formal investigation and, where appropriate, subsequent hearings. This is in order
to speed up the process and aid in the production of accurate transcriptions. However,
it will only be used where the individual concerned is happy to do so and recording can
be suspended at the request of either party.


Policy

1. All staff should be asked for their consent to record an investigatory interview or
   hearing when arrangements are made to set up the meeting. Where consent is not
   given manual notes will be taken.

2. Once the equipment is set up for use, a check must be made to test that it is fully
   functional. At the start of any interview or hearing the date, time and location should
   be recorded.

3. All parties present should introduce themselves to enable later voice identification.

4. On request, an individual may receive a copy of the recording relevant to their
   interview. However, because it will contain identifiable information, this will have to
   be collected in person from the Human Resources Department.

5. Once the recording has been transcribed, the transcript should be forwarded to the
   employee.

6. Recordings of interviews will be held securely within the Human Resources
   Department until the transcription has been signed off as an accurate reflection of
   the recording.

7. The recording produced as part of an investigation will not go forward to a hearing,
   the transcript will be used.




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                                                                        APPENDIX 7


    ADDITONAL INFROMATION FOR DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS MADE
    AGAINST STAFF IN RELATION TO THE ABUSE OF VULNERABLE ADULTS
    AND OR CHILDREN


    Allegations of abuse against Children and Young People under 18
    There are specific policies produced by Worcestershire Safeguarding Children
    Board in accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006 that
    must be followed by all organisations in the above circumstances.

    WMHPT has a lead Officer and a senior manger whose roles in those circumstances
    are as follows
    Named Senior Officer (Director of Modernisation and Executive Nurse)

•   Ensuring that their organisation complies with the standards and policy
    outlined in this policy.

•   Ensuring that this policy is reflected and implemented within their own agency policy.

•   Ensuring that their workforce is aware of and implements the policies and
    policies regarding allegations against adults who work with children and young
    people.

•   Ensuring that their organisation has systems in place to review cases and identify and

    then implement any changes which would improve both policies and practice.

•   Resolving any inter-agency issues which impede the implementation of the LSCB policy.

•   Ensuring that their organisation has effective reporting and recording
    arrangements are in place.


Senior Manager (Named Professional Safeguarding Children)

•   Ensuring that this policy is properly applied and implemented within their
    organisation.

•   Providing advice, information and guidance for staff within the organisation.

•   Being the senior manager within the organisation to whom allegations or
    concerns are reported.

•   Referring allegations in accordance with this policy.

•   Attending Strategy Meetings where required.

•   Liaising with the Local Authority Designated Officer.

•   Liaising with Human Resources where disciplinary action is required.


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•   Ensuring that risk assessments are undertaken where and when required.

•   Ensuring that effective reporting and recording systems are in place which allow
    for the tracking of allegations through to the final outcome.

•   Undertaking appropriate checks with data held by their organisation.

•   Providing reports and information as required by their Named Senior Officer.

•   Ensuring appropriate training programmes are in place and accessed by all
    staff.

•   Ensuring relevant support is in place for staff, parents and young people.

•   Should the allegation be unfounded, giving consideration to a referral either to
    Children and Young People’s Services or the police if the allegation is deemed
    to be deliberately malicious or invented.

In order to meet these responsibilities the Senior Manager will need to access
advice and guidance from the LADO; The Senior Manager may be, or may
represent, the employer




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