Page last updated at 19:07 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Cumbrian nursing boss wins race slur compensation

Dr Sarina Saiger
Dr Saiger was sacked after complaining about her treatment

A nursing boss who was told in an NHS appraisal she was the "wrong colour and wrong culture" for Cumbria has been awarded £115,000 compensation.

Dr Sarina Saiger, a former assistant director of nursing at North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, suffered the slur on inquiring about promotion.

A tribunal earlier ruled she was racially discriminated against and unfairly dismissed from her job.

The trust has apologised to Dr Saiger for the "distress" caused.

Bradford-born Dr Saiger, a single mother of mixed race, claims then director of nursing Bruce Skilbeck told her during an appraisal in November 2005 she was the "wrong colour and the wrong culture" for Cumbria.

Mr Skilbeck has always denied the accusation but the tribunal ruled it was more likely than not that he had used those words.

We would like to offer an apology to Dr Saiger for the distress that this case has caused
Trust chief executive Carole Heatly

Dr Saiger, who is of Indian descent, said: "I was utterly stunned that here I was in the 21st Century doing my job and it was not about my ability or my competency but it was about my colour.

"(In effect) I was being told that 'you are not worthy and we are not willing to have you here'.

"I was being told that 'we are never going to give you the director of nursing post because you don't fit, you are the wrong colour'."

She was sacked in May 2008 after complaining about the fact that she was being unfairly treated because of her race, the tribunal heard.

It was also told that Dr Saiger had to occasionally work from her car while desk space was occupied by white colleagues.

Carole Heatly, the Chief Executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "The trust is pleased this lengthy case has come to a conclusion for all concerned and, as an organisation, we are now able to move on.

"Again, we would like to offer an apology to Dr Saiger for the distress that this case has caused.

"The trust has learned many lessons from this case and embedded them."

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Nurse wins race dismissal claim
25 Mar 09 |  Cumbria

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Luton News Trust 'learned lessons' after 'wrong colour' ruling - 1 hr ago
Telegraph NHS worker told: 'you are wrong colour for Cumbria' - 12 hrs ago
Personnel Today Nurse wins race discrimination tribunal - 13 hrs ago
Whitehaven News Senior nurse tells tribunal she was 'wrong colour' for Cumbria - 21 hrs ago

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