Blood-phobic hospital worker loses appeal over 'unfair dismissal' - The Stratford Observer
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19th Aug, 2022

Blood-phobic hospital worker loses appeal over 'unfair dismissal'

Laura Kearns 21st Oct, 2018

A HOSPITAL worker has lost a £140,000 appeal for damages after claiming he was unfairly dismissed due to his phobia of blood.

Andrew Brangwyn was employed as an occupational therapy technician at the former Leamington Hospital – now the Central England Rehabilitation Unit – from 2008.

His problems at work arose three years later, in January 2011 when he was asked to go onto a ward to attend a meeting.

He left work early saying he felt faint and sick. It was the last day he worked for South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) after going off sick. He was dismissed in 2013.

Bosses said patient care and service provision was being affected by the job not being carried out, and they had been unaware of the technician’s phobia at the time.

Mr Brangwyn, who is now retired and lives in Coventry, has a phobia about blood, injections and needles. He said he even struggled to watch medical programmes or hear about injuries.

In May 2011 his doctor said his phobia was bad enough to warrant it as a disability.

Mr Brangwyn claimed he was unfairly sacked by the trust and a victim of disability discrimination.

But his case was rejected by a tribunal and then dismissed by judges at the Court of Appeal.

SWFT – which runs the hospital – changed his job description six times before he was dismissed in 2013.

But in all of the paperwork it included that he may have to visit patient wards, despite being advised against it by occupational health.

Lord Justice Bean, one of three judges sitting in the Court of Appeal, said the tribunal was rightly critical of SWFT for repeatedly “issuing job descriptions which did not accurately reflect what had been agreed”, but the criticisms were not sufficient to establish Mr Brangwyn’s case.

A spokeswoman from SWFT spoke only to confirm Mr Brangwyn was no longer employed by the trust.

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