Head nurse at 10,500-a-term public school accused of bullying staff and giving pupils bad medical advice
African-born Jennifer Whalley allegedly told colleagues: 'I'm not about guidelines and risk assessmentsGave bad medical advice and interrupted private consultations, court toldTold pupil not to take precautions against snail fever because 'it's not a serious disease'
19:06 GMT, 4 December 2012
Accused: Jennifer Whalley is alleged to have bullied staff and given bad medical advice while in charge of the Medical Centre at top public school Wellington College
A head nurse bullied workmates at a top public school telling them 'I'm not about guidelines', it was alleged at a hearing today.
African-born Jennifer Whalley was suspended for bullying and incompetence after a series of complaints were made about her conduct at the prestigious Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshire.
She ran the Medical Centre at the 10,500-a-term school whose former pupils include writers Sebastian Faulks and George Orwell, TV presenter Peter Snow, pop star Will Young and rugby star James Haskell between 2005 and 2010.
But problems began when she told a colleague 'you're skating on thin ice, I run the Medical Centre and if you do not like it, perhaps you should start looking for another job', the Nurse and Midwifery Council heard.
Her medical judgment has also been questioned after she allegedly reprimanded a colleague for having a pupil tested for swine flu during the epidemic in November 2009.
‘Jenny wasn’t happy that I had superceded her advice,' said nurse Beverly Gilbert giving evidence.
'She thought I had overreacted, but my course of action was correct.
‘She wasn’t very happy. She heard the swabs had been taken and she felt it was an overreaction.’
The pupil was later confirmed to have swine flu.
The senior nurse is also alleged to have told colleagues not to take precautions against a parasitic infection before travelling to Malawi saying 'it is not a serious disease – there's no need to worry about it'.
Mrs Gilbert said she was advising a pupil to take medical precautions against snail fever, when Mrs Whalley began shouting contradictory advice across the room.
‘She shouted that there was no risk of it in Lake Malawi and that the government were treating the water.
‘She said that it was an overreaction.
I felt this was because she had come from Africa and there was always
an implied feeling she knew best about health issues in Africa.’
Mrs Gilbert said Whalley had left her
feeling ‘cross and angry’.
Prestigious: Jennifer Whalley was head nurse at the Medical Centre of top public school Wellington College in Berkshire
Whalley was suspended from the school in November 2010 but allegedly stormed back in and accused Mrs Gilbert of 'ruining her life'.
She is also said to have sent an email to staff at other private schools with the subject line: ‘I have been suspended, I think, for caring.’
In it, she wrote: ‘I’m not about guidelines and risk assessments. I’m about getting what’s best for my patient.’
Whalley later resigned from her post but has denied all the allegations against her at the Nurse and Midwifery Council hearing in central London.
If found guilty of misconduct she could be kicked out of the profession.
The hearing continues.