House of Commons lobby held for sacked nurse Karen Reissmann

Health workers, patients and union activists have marched on parliament in protest against the sacking of Manchester community psychiatric nurse Karen Reissmann, allegedly for speaking out against service cuts.

Reissmann, who is also a Unison branch chair, lost her job in November last year after speaking out against plans by Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust to transfer services to voluntary sector providers. She had been earlier found guilty of gross misconduct at a disciplinary hearing and has failed in her attempts to appeal against the decision.

Hundreds of campaigners from around the country joined Reissmann at a public meeting at the House of Commons to support an early day motion, proposed by her MP John Leech, calling for her reinstatement, which has been signed by 41 MPs so far. The motion claims that Reissmann “was unjustifiably dismissed for speaking out against proposed changes to services which many staff believed would result in a worse service to patients”.

The action follows a string of strikes by trust staff last year in protest against Reissmann’s treatment. Unison north west regional secretary Frank Hont said: “We will continue to work for Karen’s reinstatement by all available legal means. This lobby is a political initiative which we hope will keep the issue alive.”

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