An award winning nurse killed himself outside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s London home after being sacked from his hospital job, it was revealed today.
Amin Abdullah, 41, of Notting Hill, west London, was fired from the job that he “lived for” at Charing Cross Hospital for signing a petition in support of an embattled colleague.
He doused himself in petrol and set himself alight outside Kensington Palace in west London last Tuesday.
Amin, who went into a spiral of depression after losing his dream job, was allowed to leave his mental health hospital alone just hours earlier – despite suffering suicidal thoughts.
His partner of 12 years, Terry Skitmore, 62, blasted the NHS trust for sacking him for what it admitted was a “foolish mistake” days before Christmas.
He said: “The way they treated him was disgraceful.”
A patient complained about a colleague in September and Amin was one of 17 people to sign a petition in her support.
He also penned a letter, shared among staff, denying his nursing colleague was “lazy and unfriendly”.
After a three month wait he faced disciplinary action and was dismissed for gross misconduct on December 21st.
He was treated for depression and suicidal thoughts at St Charles Hospital in Ladbroke Grove, west London, while awaiting his appeal.
But two days before the hearing at around 8.30pm he was allowed to leave alone, despite being under close observation, so he could get new clothes to meet his RCN union rep the next day.
Less than four hours later his charred body was found by police outside the palace at around 3am on Tuesday February 9th.
Grandfather-of-two Terry, a retired postal worker, said: “They let him out alone and he never came back. The next thing I know, he is dead.
“One minute he’s under close observation, the next minute they let him out. I thought he was in safe hands.
“At 1.30am in the morning the police broke the chain lock on the front door and said, ‘Are you Amin?’
“I said,’ He’s in the hospital’ but they said, ‘That’s the problem, they let him out to get clean clothes, but he never went back to the hospital.’
“They came back at 5am and said, ‘You better sit down’ and I knew what was coming. They said he was dead.”
Terry said: “He poured petrol over himself and burned himself.
“Something triggered him and he didn’t want to go any further.
“We have been together for 12 years. We had a great relationship. What pushes you to cover yourself in petrol and set fire to yourself?
“He was very shy and kind. He was just a nice human being – that’s why he was into that profession. He lived for that job.”
In the letter sent to him less than a month before he died his superior admitted Amin‘s actions were merely a “foolish mistake” but upheld his decision.
Terry claims staff are hounded by the NHS in its disciplinary procedures.
He said: “There needs to be a campaign for nurses who are treated like this.
“It’s a travesty. They are doing this to people all the time. It’s not just nurses but doctors and especially whistle-blowers.
“I don’t want this brushed under the carpet.”
He added: “Amin was sacked because he tried to stick up for a colleague.
“Had he just signed the petition, he wouldn’t have been sacked and he’d still be alive today.
“Bosses checked the system and as there were no logged complaints from the patient, they said his letter was ‘untrue’ and he was branded a liar.
“They also said he didn’t follow ‘correct procedure’ and said he should have followed protocol and never written a letter about the patient.
“Amin admitted he had made a ‘foolish mistake’ in writing the letter but stressed he didn’t mean she officially complained all the time, just that she was known for being a bit of a moaner to staff on the frontline.”
Amin was raised in an orphanage in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and moved to the UK in 2003 before becoming a British citizen.
He won The Hannah Evans Award for Excellence when he graduated with a nursing degree from Buckinghamshire New University.
A spokesperson for Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, which runs St Charles Hospital, said: “We are appalled at this awful incident and our hearts go out to this poor man and his family.
“We will work with them and other agencies to get to the bottom of what happened and you can be sure we will take any action any learning identified as necessary.”
Imperial College Healthcare, the Trust that runs Charing Cross Hospital, said: “We are saddened to hear of Mr Abdullah‘s death and would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.
“The trust will engage fully with any investigations into Mr Abdullah‘s death.”