A NURSE who suffers from mental health problems has won his case for disability discrimination against Scotland's national hospital.

Andrew Macintosh was discriminated against by bosses at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank because he suffers from Schizoaffective Disorder - a combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder.

After becoming involved in an incident with his line manager in July last year, Mr Macintosh, of Renfrew, was placed on special leave because bosses felt his mental health had deteriorated.

However, an employment tribunal has found that the hospital, which is under the control of specialist health board the National Waiting Times Centre Board, failed to take account of the nurse's version of events because of his condition.

Employment judge Claire McManus also found that the way the hospital dealt with the situation violated Mr Macintosh's dignity and caused him to experience panic and anxiety.

A written judgment on the case stated: "The actions and failures by the health board were unfavourable treatment which arose in consequence of Mr Macintosh's disability.

"The actions and failures had the effect of violating Mr Macintosh's dignity.

"Mr Macintosh's claims under the Equality Act therefore succeed."

The tribunal heard that Mr Macintosh worked in the hospital's Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory, dealing with emergency heart patients.

He had suffered long periods of absence due to his mental health problems and had recently completed a phased return to work when he was involved in a dispute with staff nurse Sharon McCabe.

Following the incident, Mr Macintosh sent an email to his bosses raising a grievance against Ms McCabe, claiming she was "being completely unreasonable and using bullying tactics".

Ms McCabe then claimed she was fearful of Mr Macintosh and was asked to provide a statement to that effect. Mr Macintosh was never asked for his version of events on what happened and was instead placed on special leave by lead nurse Jane Rodman.

He decided to visit his treating psychiatrist as a result of what had happened and she found "no evidence of pressure of speech, flight of ideas, affects in his judgment or in any of his behaviour".

She added: "He has now been put on special leave while the case is being reviewed by Occupational Health. In view of his presentation today, I do not feel the incident on Tuesday was related to a relapse of his Schizophrenic illness but more an interpersonal issue."

Judge McManus said: "Because of his mental health condition, Jane Rodman assumed the claimant to be unwell before obtaining his version of events.

"Because of the claimant's mental health condition, Jane Rodman assumed that the claimant was unwell, rather than there was an interpersonal issue between him and Sharon McCabe.

"At the tribunal, the claimant did not deny that these incidents had occurred, but denied that the incidents were serious or were any sign of a deteriorating state of mental health."

She added: "Had it not been for this belief that the claimant's mental health was deteriorating, the claimant would not have been put on special leave"

The tribunal heard that Mr Macintosh suffered "increasing panic and anxiety" due to the way the health board dealt with the situation, leading to him being admitted to hospital.

The judgment states that, while it was a difficult situation for the hospital, they failed to support Mr Macintosh and did not make proper use of their policies.

It adds: "The tribunal found that the health board's actions and failures were unwanted, were related to the claimant's disability and had the effect of violating the claimant's dignity.

"It was reasonable to have felt his dignity to have been violated."

A hearing to decide how much Mr Macintosh is entitled to will be held in the New Year.

A spokesman for the National Waiting Times Centre Board said: "We can confirm that we are extremely disappointed with the findings of a recent tribunal taken against the organisation.

"We pride ourselves on creating an environment of equality and diversity for every member of our staff and strongly disagree with the decision of the tribunal. As such, we will be taking forward an appeal against this decision."