A woman was unfairly dismissed and discriminated against due to her race at a London hospital, an employment tribunal found.

Samiriah Shaikh, who lives in Newham, worked as an ophthalmic technician at Moorfields Eye Hospital from April 2019 until December 2020.

After an employment tribunal held in February found that  had been subject to direct race discrimination and constructive dismissal, she told this paper that she is still recovering from the “emotional trauma” of the case.

The tribunal found that there were nine instances in which Samiriah, who describes her race and ethnicity as British Asian, was directly discriminated against due to her race.

These included suggestions that the eye technician was being “aggressive” for raising concerns about her placement in a different team after making allegations of racism within her department.

The tribunal ultimately concluded that Samiriah’s resignation from her role amounted to constructive dismissal as a result of discrimination.

Samiriah told this paper: “When I was at Moorfields, I don’t think I’ve ever been that emotionally down. I’m still having to go through therapy and I’m still on anti-depressants.

“Eventually I had to leave because I couldn’t bear being there anymore.

“I won [at tribunal], which is amazing and I’m really happy I won.

“And I know I should feel a sense of relief at this point, but it’s almost like I’ve been kicked out of the department, I’ve been painted as the aggressor.

“So for me, I’m just thinking – did I actually ever get my justice?”

The report cites instances on September 17, 2020 when the hospital's head of imaging and ultrasound, Peter Holm, is alleged to have mimicked a Filipino nurse and belittled her, and on September 22, 2020, when he mimicked an Indian doctor.

The tribunal found that direct discrimination was not proven, but harassment was as the behaviour violated the claimant’s dignity, and created an "intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment".

The tribunal found that during a meeting on September 23, 2020, four staff members raised “how they felt discriminated towards their skin colour and gender”. It was claimed that Mr Holm ignored all comments and made jokes throughout the meeting, later saying "I did not realise they felt so strongly".

Again, direct discrimination was not proven but harassment was. The tribunal found Mr Holm was "out of his depth" in this meeting and "did not know how to manage himself or the situation".

Following the meeting, Samiriah was moved out of the adult department and into paediatrics on the official rota.

The tribunal found that this move was made as a direct result of the concerns that were raised at the meeting.

When Samiriah queried the rota change, Holm claimed that she had “started to send aggressive emails”.

The tribunal found that Samiriah’s emails were not aggressive, and that this characterisation helped to create a false narrative that Samiriah was a “loud ethnic female”, which the tribunal found was discriminatory.

In summary, the tribunal found direct race discrimination in relation to nine incidents; harassment related to race in relation to ten, and victimisation in relation to seven.

Samiriah told this paper that after she was labelled “aggressive” for raising legitimate concerns, her mental health began to spiral, eventually culminating in her resignation in December 2020.

She claimed that her career had been unfairly impacted by the discrimination she experienced while working at the hospital.

Samiriah said: “Everybody in that field wanted to work at Moorfields because of the reputation they had but unfortunately now that’s been taken away from me, I don’t ever see myself going back because of what’s happened.”

Following the outcome of the employment tribunal, Moorfields Eye Hospital chief executive Martin Kuper said: “I am disappointed and deeply sorry that our colleague experienced this at Moorfields. We all deserve to be respected and treated with dignity.

“I want to offer reassurance that this is not acceptable to our executive and board, and that we are committed to learning from the findings of this employment tribunal and taking actions to ensure our hospital is an equitable place to work.”

He added: “We are committed to eradicating racism and discrimination of all forms within our organisation.”