A NURSE who appeared on Channel 4’s Dispatches TV programme to blow the whistle on mismanagement at an Oxford GP’s surgery is suing her former employer.

Annabelle ‘Loo’ Blackburn claims she was forced out of her job by the Oxfordshire NHS Primary Care Trust after she and other staff raised concerns.

Mrs Blackburn first went to her superiors to highlight the “apparent chaotic and shambolic way” in which the Kendall Crescent Health Centre in North Oxford was functioning.

She said symptomatic of the problems were about 300 blood test results which had not been dealt with, 55 pages of unread emails on the computer, and emergency equipment being unavailable.

Her actions led to the surgery's main clinician, GP Dr Mark Huckstep, being suspended. He later decided not to return to the surgery.

Mrs Blackburn claims that as she and others worked to get the surgery running properly they were hindered by the PCT.

She told the tribunal that Lorraine Pengilley, brought in to lead the efforts, spent more time cleaning than resolving the main issues and shouted at and belittled Mrs Blackburn within earshot of patients, reducing her to tears.

Mrs Blackburn is suing Dr Huckstep for constructive dismissal on the basis that she was forced out by PCT staff, who were technically acting as his agents in running the surgery after his departure.

She said she feared the potential impact on patients who had been exposed to harm.

As they began the operation to tackle issues at the surgery with colleague Dr Christine Slowther, Mrs Blackburn said: “I asked Dr Slowther to go through the blood test results that I had considered a priority.

“We worked late into the evening and uncovered many more cases of patient harm and malpractice.

“That evening Dr Slowther discovered a doctor had misinterpreted a blood result earlier that day and had prescribed a potentially fatal dose of thyroxine to an already hyperthyroid patient in her 90s.

“I called the nursing home and aborted the administration of the medication.”

On July 30, 2010, Mrs Blackburn was told by email from Angie Eachus at the PCT that Dr Huckstep had given notice of termination of his contract and he wished the PCT to take responsibility for the surgery.

Three days later the PCT appointed Lorraine Pengilley to the practice.

But the tribunal heard claims that tensions rose, which eventually led to a confrontation in which Ms Pengilley allegedly told Mrs Blackburn: “I can’t believe that we are paying you extortionate amounts of money for you not to nurse, Loo. Can’t you just do what you’ve always been doing?”

Over the coming months the nurse believed the PCT was systematically undermining her and colleagues, the tribunal heard.

As the situation worsened and her health began to suffer, Mrs Blackburn resigned from her job.

The nurse, from School Lane, Twyford, Buckinghamshire, is suing Dr Huckstep for constructive dismissal.

The case, at Reading Employment Tribunal Centre, continues.