Dismissed ambulance worker ‘suffered bullying’

Picture: Justin Spittle
Picture: Justin Spittle
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AN ambulance service worker has claimed she was working in a “hostile environment” and suffered bullying.

Isabel Blyth has taken the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) to an employment tribunal after being dismissed for gross misconduct.

The former personal assistant said her treatment by senior staff had caused her stress and anxiety and she took time off sick as a result. However, the SAS denies she was unfairly treated.

The dispute emerged after a new role of board secretary was created. Ms Blyth was told she would be line managed by the board secretary instead of the medical director, which she considered to be an unreasonable change to her job description without proper consultation.

“One issue I had was conflict in job descriptions – responsibilities that she held and responsibilities I held in my job description,” she told the tribunal in Edinburgh. “Before, I was reporting to a medical director, now I was reporting to another administrative member of staff.”

Ms Blyth added: “I said I was working in a hostile environment because of the behaviour of some of the executives, including the chief executive.”

During the dispute, she had felt bullied by the new board secretary. Daren Mochrie, director of service delivery, denied this. “There seemed to be an arrogance from the claimant,” he said. “Her main issue was that she felt the board secretary was not qualified, did not have the right experience to manage her, and she was not going to report to someone who was not qualified, and that came across as quite arrogant.”

The hearing into Ms Blyth’s dismissal continues tomorrow.