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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: UK Employment Law
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Experience:  solicitor
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I work as a nurse. I handed my notice in on the 10th/3/13.

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I work as a nurse. I handed my notice in on the 10th/3/13. The following day my manger rang me at home and told me that the senior nurse had accepted my notice, but they had received a complaint that i verbally abused a patient and wanted me to make a statement. The complaint was about a patient who i nursed 4 months ago. i was on night duty in charge of a ward. Smelled smoke. It was coming from toilets. On entering toilets smoke was concerntrated in toilets. There was a toilet door locked. I knocked the door and said to the occupant if you are smoking can you pleas stop. There was no reply. I knocked again said the same thing and said its against hospital policy and there is a risk of explosion due to the piped oxygen on the was a risk to other patients. the patient replied that he was not smoking. I looked around the ward to see if it could be coming from elsewhere, which it hadnt..when the patient returned to his bed i asked me if he had been smoking in the toilet which he replied he had not smoked for 3 years. He seemed embarrased and upset and asked me to leave him alone.
His wife then shouted at a nurse who was on duty the folowing day and said she would will be suing the hospital.
my problem is i will be starting a new job end of april. i havent signed my contract yet. Where do i stand having given my notice in

from what you say, you have not done anything wrong. You simply asked the patient to stop smoking and if it were them smoking.

There should be no legal implication for you and you should simply state as much when making your statement.

You have already handed in your notice and cannot be stopped from leaving your current job.

Hope this helps-please leave feedback
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


thankyou for your reply.I have done nothing wrong but am worried because the complaint is talking of suing . could my current/future employer suspend me or what happens if i start a new job and have to be suspended during court proceedings as this is what normally happens when a case goes to court. Who would pay me? Do i need to retract my resignation or just continue with my new job.

i am sorry for the multiple questions.

I would not worry about the threat of being sued, it seems to be an empty threat with no legal basis and it is unlikely that the matter will end up in court.

You may carry on with your new job if that is what you want.

The threat of being sued should not affect your new job.

All the best
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience: solicitor
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Hello, my colleague has not dealt with the issue of what could happen to you during your notice period with the current employer. Whilst I agree that you have not really done anything wrong, that is not necessarily how the employer may see this. They were not there at the time of the alleged incident and will only be able to go by what the patient says and what you say in defence. So we do need to advise you fully of your position and what may happen. You should not worry about being sued separately by the patient or the hospital because of your actions. However, the employer can still treat this as a disciplinary matter and take appropriate action. They would need to investigate the issues and they can suspend you whilst they do that. If they believe you did wrong they could then ask you to attend a disciplinary and can even dismiss you whilst you are serving your notice period. This is all a possible outcome, which was not addressed in the earlier answers. Of course they could investigate this and decide you have no case to answer but it is possible that they could go down the route explained above - I am certainly not saying it will happen but you need to be aware of it.

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