Derbyshire NHS chief who was branded a 'whore' by boss awarded nearly £1million compensation

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's headquarters.

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's headquarters.

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A married NHS chief who was branded a 'whore' by her boss then sacked from her job has been awarded almost £1million in compensation, it has emerged.

The £832,000 was given to Helen Marks, the former HR director of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, after a tribunal ruled last year that the organisation's ex-chairman Alan Baines had sexually harassed her and that she was was unfairly dismissed.

The tribunal found Mrs Marks, of Matlock, had been harassed after refusing to have sexual relations with Mr Baines.

It heard when she refused he turned against her, abusing his position and suspending her from her £99,000-a-year job without justification.

Mr Baines also sent her 'a barrage of nasty texts' including one calling her a 'whore'.

He was described in the tribunal's findings as a 'bully and manipulator'.

The tribunal also found the trust's then chief executive Professor Steve Trenchard protected Mr Baines, who was allowed to retire with his 'good name' intact.

For his role in the scandal Mr Trenchard was suspended on full pay for seven months at a cost of £90,000. This week the shamed professor quit with a £75,000 payoff.

The trust, which spent £424,000 on legal fees and investigations, has now said sorry.

Interim trust chairman Richard Gregory said: 'I want to make some apologies. Firstly, to Helen Marks for everything that she has experienced. I hope she gets better very soon and I wish her well in her career.

'And I want to say sorry to the community for the loss of funds - it is a lot and a big loss.'

The trust's website states: "We are the leading provider of mental health, learning disabilities and substance misuse services in Derby city and Derbyshire county. We also provide a wide range of children's services.

"We employ more than 2,500 staff based in 100 locations across the whole of Derbyshire. Across the county and the city, we serve a combined population of approximately one million people."