Amin Abdullah: Nurse who set himself on fire outside Kensington Palace was 'treated disgustingly' by NHS, says partner

Amin Abdullah reportedly suffered from severe depression following dismissal from his job in December

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The Independent Online

The partner of a nurse who burnt himself to death outside Kensington Palace has claimed he was “treated disgustingly” by a hospital which sacked him weeks before.

Amin Abdullah was dismissed from his job at Charing Cross Hospital in December. He appealed the decision, however days before an appeal hearing into his dismissal he doused himself in petrol outside the London home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

It is understood that the 41-year-old had suffered from severe depression after the dismissal. He was admitted to St Charles Hospital in west London for treatment. However, after being released for a short period to collect clothes from his home, he failed to return to the hospital.

Emergency services were called in the early hours of the morning to the scene near the palace on 9 February and tried to save him by extinguishing the flames. But he died a short time later.

His partner of 12 years, Terry Skitmore, 62, criticised Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust for the way they treated Mr Abdullah.

He told the Press Association Mr Abdullah had an “exemplary background” - even winning an award for excellence when he graduated from Buckinghamshire New University.

“I want to get the message out there about the way that the whole thing was terribly handled - it was badly handled because of a bad culture that they have. It just seems to be that if anyone steps out of line they are literally just crushed into the ground,” he said.

“They treated him disgustingly - it pushed him into the depression and got us in the position we are in today.”

It is understood Mr Abdullah was one of 17 people to sign a petition in support of a colleague after a patient complained.

Mr Skitmore said he also wrote a letter backing up his colleague by rejecting the claims and stating that the patient was known to complain.

Mr Skitmore said this letter was only meant for his colleague but was mistakenly attached to the back of the petition, and Mr Abdullah was charged with writing an “untrue letter” and not using the correct complaints procedure.

Mr Abdullah left the St Charles Hospital saying he was going to collect a change of clothes but never returned

At the beginning of December he was officially dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct.

Deputy divisional director of nursing at the trust, William Gage, acknowledged that Mr Abdullah's conduct was a “foolish mistake” but continued to uphold the dismissal.

Mr Skitmore said: “At the most he should have been given a warning, not dismissed.”

Mr Abdullah had been an inpatient at St Charles for nearly three weeks when he was let out to go home and collect some clothes - something Mr Skitmore knew nothing about.

Mr Skitmore said Mr Abdullah's body is yet to be released and as a result he cannot organise his funeral.

“I can never bring Amin back, he will never walk through the door again and that breaks my heart, but if I can get justice and save one other person or more then at least he wouldn't have died for nothing,” he said.

An Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust spokeswoman 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.”

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, which runs St Charles Hospital, said it will “get to the bottom of what happened” and take any necessary action.