NHS Trust Suspends Director for Holding Controversial Views
Richard Page, who was recently dismissed as a magistrate for his opposition to same-sex adoption, has now been suspended by an NHS Trust from his post as a non-executive director.
Andrew Ling, Chair of the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT), began the sequence of events which led to Richard’s suspension. He wrote to the NHS Trust Development Authority asking them to consider suspending Richard after his removal as magistrate.
It seems that the mere association with what are frequently regarded as unsavoury views i.e. Richards’s opposition to same-sex couple adoption, is enough to have someone suspended from their job even when there is no evidence of incompetence or behavioural misconduct.
Ling claimed that Richards’s comments would have a major impact on staff, patients and “the perception of living and Trust values.”
Ling stated: "The recent publicity you have courted is likely to further undermine the confidence staff, particularly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) staff, have in the leadership of the Trust”. He went on to say “Links between the stigma often associated with being LGBT and poor mental health are well established. It is vital that patients and local population are confident that KMPT will challenge stigma or discrimination and treat everyone fairly and impartially".
In response to his treatment, Richard, who has worked in the field of mental health for 20 years, lamented that “It would appear no longer possible to be a Christian... and maintain a role in public life in today’s Britain. My seat on the NHS Trust came as a result of my long service in mental health and total commitment to the NHS – none of that has changed.”
The implications of Richard’s suspension and possible loss of work within the NHS Trust are troubling for all who hold currently unpopular beliefs. Again, in relation to his work in the NHS Trust, it seems that Richard’s crime is that of holding views which some find offensive. On this occasion is pertained to same-sex couple adoption, but it could have been almost anything.
We must resist this kind of ideological based suspension from work, and possible removal. Richard should retain his job on the basis of his competency to do it – he should not lose it because some people do not like his personal views.
Sign this petition to the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, urging them to reinstate Richard who has been unjustly suspended from his job.
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Reinstate Mr Richard Page