NHS manager awarded nearly £1m in compensation following racial discrimination

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A former NHS worker, who was found to have suffered workplace discrimination at the hands of hospital colleagues, has been awarded £933,115 by an employment tribunal in Manchester.

The ruling stated that Elliot Browne, 55, had been unfairly dismissed from his position as a director at Central Manchester University NHS Foundation in 2008 following a campaign of discriminatory treatment that severely affected his health.

The hearing last year heard that Mr Browne, who spent 34 years working for the NHS, was left distressed following a campaign of sustained racial discrimination.

Mr Browne claimed that the treatment left him close to a “mental breakdown.”

He said: “It is scandalous that this kind of behaviour and culture should exist in an organisation whose prime purpose is to care for others.”

The payment is one of the highest sums ever awarded to a worker for racial discrimination in the workplace.

Unite, the union which represented Mr Browne during the case, called on the NHS to
“tackle its culture of institutionalised racism”.

Rachael Maskell, head of health at Unite, said: “Unfortunately, the case of Elliot Browne is not unique within the NHS. Discrimination and harassment in the health service is all too common from our experience as a trade union and needs to be rooted out.”

The settlement for unfair dismissal, aggravated damages and loss of earnings and pension, is on top of the £71,415 Mr Browne has already received from the trust.

Keith Hutson, regional officer at Unite, described the compensation as well-deserved.

He said: “Hopefully this will act as a catalyst for his former employer to face up to their obligations in tackling the culture of institutionalised racism that they seem happy to endorse and that is underpinned by a cavalier attitude in their management style”.

The NHS trust denied that racial discrimination had taken place in this case and said that they were appealing the decision.

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