Hospital Worker Sues NHS After Being Fired Over Phobia of Blood and Needles

Jane Werrell
By Jane Werrell
October 25, 2017UK
Hospital Worker Sues NHS After Being Fired Over Phobia of Blood and Needles
(Steve Parsons-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

A hospital worker is suing the NHS for £140,000 after he was sacked for his extreme fear of blood and needles.

Andrew Brangwyn from Coventry said his anxiety became so severe he was too afraid to visit the hospital, according to reports.

He was so petrified that he took long-term sick leave in 2012. He was then eventually dismissed.

The 65-year-old worked as an occupational therapist teaching carpentry to recovering patients at Royal Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital in Warwickshire.

Hospital bosses allowed him to stay away from wards, but he was later reportedly asked to attend ward meetings, which is when his severe phobia returned.

“After two such meetings he became absent from work and was dismissed. His problems arose from seeing patients in their beds and from seeing patients where they have open wounds or are having their dressings changed,” his barrister Sarah Keogh said, according to ITV.

NTD Photo
Andrew Brangwyn had a phobia of blood an needles. (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Brangwyn took South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust to an Employment Tribunal and complained of disability discrimination. His claim was rejected.

But he has received permission to fight his case in the Court of Appeal.

The Coventry Telegraph quoted the judge saying, “He had a phobia in respect of blood, injections and needles and, it later emerged, in handling patients.

“It grew so significant that he found it difficult to contemplate going to parts of the hospital that—unfortunately for someone with his phobic anxieties—he worked in.”

The trust had arguably failed to make reasonable adjustments to cater for his disability, said Lady Justice Gloster, per the Coventry Telegraph.

He said his job descriptions was changed six times in two years.

According to the Sun, Brangwyn’s wife, Deborah said, “What they did to my husband was appalling. They made him ill.”

A date for his next hearing has not been set.

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