An emergency care nurse at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital has been sacked after calling its former chief executive a “D***HEAD”.
Jacky Moskovits was dragged into disciplinary proceedings because of increasingly angry online messages about the east Kent hospitals trust’s management and working conditions.
In one message the 59-year-old said: “It seems no matter how many lives you save, your employers are out to get you.”
And following the departure of east Kent hospitals trust chief executive Matthew Kershaw in September, Ms Moskovits wrote on Facebook: “The D***HEAD has left the building.”
Her bosses accused the mother-of-four of bringing the trust into disrepute and fired her for gross misconduct in November.
Ms Moskovits has now gone public, arguing that she felt motivated to speak up about the life inside the trust and the way it treats its staff.
Speaking exclusively to the Canterbury Journal, Ms Moskovits says working conditions within the trust are atrocious and staff face uncertainty about the fate of its hospitals – especially the Kent and Canterbury.
“It’s a rotten place to work,” said Ms Moskovits, who began her employment in 1998 and worked in the emergency care unit.
“As medical staff, we are there to care for people, but the management do not care about us. I felt like I needed to speak out. We’re over-stretched and under-staffed.
“But if I spoke out about working conditions, I was told I was simply being pessimistic. I really would discourage anyone from working there.”
Mr Kershaw came in for criticism both from inside and outside the trust after overseeing a reorganisation process called the Sustainability Transformation Plan.
It would see Ashford as the area’s super hospital while Margate would retain units such as maternity and a limited A&E. Canterbury would be downgraded to elective surgery and rehab services.
But Ms Moskovits complained that staff were not updated on the proposals. After her “D***HEAD” comment, several colleagues rallied to support her.
One wrote: “All of this makes me feel physically sick! This isn’t progression and change and moving forward! This is downgrading and dismantling of the NHS and completely dishonest!”
Workers also feared that the reorganisation of services was billed as temporary when in fact it would be permanent.
Ms Moskovits, who lives in Wincheap, also pointed to a culture of bullying identified within the trust.
The last report by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published in December 2016 said there had been “significant improvements in incidents of bullying and harassment”, but added that “the trust must maintain vigilance as we did receive reports from some individuals who still felt bullied”.
In the trust’s dismissal letter to Ms Moskovits dated November 21, it admitted it was concerned about the comments she had made.
Signed by Claire Casarotto of the Integrated Discharge Team, the letter states: “While I sympathise with the challenges of staffing and working within a busy department, this was not an appropriate way to raise your concerns.
“The incident occurred at a time when the Trust was under extreme scrutiny from the CQC and this type of information could bring the Trust into disrepute if it had been viewed by the CQC or the public.”
The East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust, which has its offices at the Kent and Canterbury, said this week that it could not comment on individual disciplinary cases.
But spokesman Steve James added: “I can confirm that the Nursing and Midwifery Council has guidance on the use of social media.
“This guidance states that all registrants must use all forms of spoken, written and digital communication – including social media and networking sites – responsibly, respecting the right to privacy of others at all times.”