Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Brian Gilfillan was a conscientious records officer who often worked long hours, covered for his colleagues and was wedded to his work. His initiative kept his department running smoothly. And yet Brian made the mistake one day of forging his manager’s signature on a requisition order for more maternity forms. Presumably his manager, Anne Starkie, was away on a diversity course when Brian felt it necessary to scrawl her signature on an order for some forms which had run out.
Instead of praising Brian for his initiative, his vindictive petty minded boss decided to launch a disciplinary hearing. Brian was sent a template letter telling him that he was being charged with fraud and that he could lose his cherished job. No doubt drunk on power, three of his superiors appeared intent on hounding the 36-year-old. Mr Gilfillan, who lived with his parents, had earned a reputation for his astonishing commitment to his job. He was known to take work home and correct mistakes made by colleagues and was once reprimanded for working beyond his required hours.
Rather than face a kangaroo court held by a self-appointed tribunal of jobsworths, Brian chose to hang himself from a tree in the hospital grounds. The petty and spiteful action of his managers had, in the words of his parents, ‘ripped his heart out’.
NHS Fife expressed its condolences to the dead man’s family and friends, and said it would consider the sheriff’s findings in detail.
Words fail me.