Nurse claims partial victory Jun 5 2004
Robin Turner, The Western Mail
THE school nurse who claimed she was sacked for whistle-blowing about an alleged "do not resuscitate" policy yesterday claimed a partial victory after a judgment by an Employment Appeals Tribunal.
But Bunny Pinnington, 52, is outraged Swansea education officials are now taking her case to the Court of Appeal. She is also angry that Swansea City and County Council claimed victory in a press release it issued over the Employment Appeals Tribunal judgment.
A seven-year battle with the council began after Mrs Pinnington, a mother of one, claimed to have stumbled over instructions telling staff not to resuscitate a terminally ill five-year-old girl at Ysgol Crug Glas Special School where she then worked.
She told the girl's grandparents who were horrified at what they were told but she was suspended and later dismissed. The grandparents have supported Mrs Pinnington ever since and the gravely ill girl they were caring for is still alive.
But Swansea City and County Council claimed there was never any "do not resuscitate" policy at the school.
And the authority maintained Mrs Pinnington was dismissed because of a long period of ill health she suffered, not because of her claim to have been a whistle-blower.
The tribunal ruled this week that Mrs Pinnington, of Waunarlwydd, Swansea, was sacked due to ill health, not because of her allegations.
In the same press release the council announced its intention to appeal against part of the judgment. Mrs Pinnington said yesterday, "I regard the part of the judgment the council is appealing against as a victory.
"It rules that I suffered 'unlawful detriment' by being suspended because of what I was saying - for the first time it identifies me as a whistle-blower.
"I agree the judgment makes it clear that I was dismissed fairly because the authority followed procedures over ill health. But I would maintain that my health was affected by being suspended in the first place."
Swansea City and County Council said,"The narrow point on which we are now appealing relates to how the original employment tribunal handled Mrs Pinnington's claim she suffered detriment during two days of suspension before dismissal."