Bullied hospital manager had nervous breakdown12 January 2010
The harassment caused Mrs Bowen, who was the main breadwinner in the family, stress and panic attacks
A bullied NHS manager, who suffered a nervous breakdown, has been awarded £150,000 in compensation, after UNISON took up her case.
The union took up Nanette Bowen’s case after she was harassed over a three-year period.
The 55-year-old, from Llanelli, who had been employed at the Prince Phillip Hospital for 28 years, had worked her way up the ranks from porter to information manager, reporting directly to the chief executive.
In 2000 Eric Lewis became her boss, when Llanelli and Dinefwr Trusts merged to become Camarthenshire NHS.
Mr Lewis made sexual innuendos towards her and was regularly aggressive when challenged.
Over the next three years her responsibility for hiring staff was removed, she was not allowed to pass on information to staff without his consent and had to fill in a daily form for him to monitor her work.
The harassment caused Mrs Bowen, who was the main breadwinner in the family, stress and panic attacks. She was signed off sick and, on one occasion, she was rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack.
Swansea County Court found Carmarthenshire NHS Trust liable.
Dave Prentis, UNISON’s General Secretary, said: “I am sure that Mrs Bowen would rather have her job and her health.
“The compensation will go some way towards her loss of earnings, but it will never make up for years of suffering and the loss of her old life.
“Mrs Bowen has been left unable to work and support her family, is too scared to leave the house to socialise and the NHS has lost a skilled and dedicated member of staff.
“Workers should be treated with respect, not forced to take time off, or leave their job, because it is making them ill.
“Employers need to encourage staff to speak out about bad behaviour, to make sure that bullies are banned from the workplace.”
Mrs Bowen said: “I am relieved that the case has finished, but this is not like winning the lottery, as the money can never make up for my life being ruined.
“I am still suffering and continue to have counselling to control my panic attacks.
“The NHS was my life, so I have had to leave a job I loved and have been able to go out properly only three times in the past six years.
“The Trust failed to support me, but hopefully my case will make other workers more likely to speak out.”
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