An NHS nurse who set himself on fire outside Kensington Palace after losing his job was “unfairly treated”, a report has found.
Amin Abdullah, 41, set himself alight just yards from the London home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on February 9, 2016, weeks after being dismissed from his job at Charing Cross Hospital.
The Malaysian born nurse, who became depressed after being let go, killed himself two days before his appeal was due to be heard.
An independent inquiry commissioned by Imperial College London concluded: “It is clear from the evidence that Nurse Abdullah was treated unfairly.”
The report found that an unnamed investigating officer for Imperial College Healthcare repeatedly raised questions about his honesty “on the basis of little or no evidence”.
Disciplinary proceedings were brought against him in September 2015, after he signed a document in support of a colleague who had received a patient complaint.
The report concluded that Abdullah “should have known that signing the petition was not appropriate”, the independent report said. However, the report noted that none of the other 18 signatories was disciplined for their involvement.
During the investigation into Abdullah’s conduct, the investigating officer “failed to disclose evidence which was critical of her but which tended to exculpate Nurse Abdullah”.
The report goes further, adding the hospital trust should “should consider the implications for the investigating officer’s integrity and, ultimately, her suitability for her role as a senior member of staff.”
The disciplinary hearing took place three months after Abdullah signed the petition on December 16 and he was dismissed on December 21. The report found the long delay “troubling”.
A report produced by the hospital after Abdullah’s death was described by the inquiry as “poor” and a “whitewash”.
“It gave the trust false assurance that it had done nothing wrong”, the findings read.
Professor Tim Orchard, chief executive of the trust, said: “Above all else, it is now clear that we let Amin down and, for that, I am truly sorry.”
Orchard said the trust accepted the findings and recommendations of the report. It has also started an overhaul of how disciplinary procedures are managed.
He said: “I very much regret that Amin is not here to be offered an apology for the mistakes that we made and a personal commitment from me that we will act on all of the learning from his case.”
Terrance Skitmore, Abdullah’s partner, welcomed the findings of the report which he said had highlighted the “flaws and failures” in the disciplinary process hospitals carry out.
He said: “I now only have Amin’s ashes and my memories of him to comfort me.
“Nothing can bring Amin back, but I am determined to do all I can to make sure his story is listened to by those who have the power to change things in the future.”
A coroner the inquest into Abdullah’s death concluded he had “killed himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed.”