A NURSE dubbed the ‘Angel of the North’ for her pandemic


has vowed to fight on after her appeal against “constructive dismissal” was rejected.

Fairfield General Hospital nurse Leona Harris has been embroiled in a legal battle with a past employer since an incident in 2017, in which she potentially saved a patient’s life by blood transfusion but overlooked paperwork while doing so.

This marked the beginning of a lengthy struggle. Now an Employment Appeals Tribunal application challenging her dismissal has been rejected.

Husband Nick, who represented Mrs Harris at the hearing, said: “You couldn’t write this, it couldn’t be any more of a whitewash. It seems too surreal to possibly be fair.”

Mrs Harris’ pandemic campaign helped secure iPads for patients stuck in isolation at Fairfield Hospital and raised over £70,000 for more than 50 hospitals.

She was shortlisted for the Florence Nightingale Nurse of the Year Award and took part in the Blackpool Illuminations switch-on.

But in October 2020 she was shocked to be referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for investigation over the 2017 blood transfusion incident.

An employment tribunal that month ruled in favour of the trust but later employment judge Katherine Tucker concluded that Mrs Harris had grounds for appeal.

But now the appeal has been turned down by an employment appeal tribunal held before Judge James Taylor.

Judge Taylor said: “I appreciate how very strongly the claimant feels about this case and her very great disappointment in having failed in her claim of judgment approved by the court, but I do not consider that there is any error of law that is identified in this appeal.”

Mr and Mrs Harris are now considering their options but have vowed this is not the end.

Mr Harris said: “She just plods on, Leona, she takes it on the chin and just keeps going. She just loves nursing.”