Meetings being held with hospital staff after ‘shocking’ bullying report

City Hospital (original picture by David Hallam-Jones cc-by-sa-2.0) and Queen's Medical Centre (original picture by Harry Mitchell cc-by-sa-3.0)
By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter

Leaders at Nottingham’s hospital trust have committed to making improvements after the healthcare watchdog rated their leadership as “inadequate”.

A “culture of bullying” was also uncovered when the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Nottingham University Hospitals this year, and the trust was told it ‘requires improvement’ overall.

The trust runs both Nottingham City Hospital and the Queen’s Medical Centre.

One Nottinghamshire MP described the overall situation as “shocking” and others called for action last week.

Now the trust’s board has issued a report detailing some of its plans to address the CQC’s concerns.

The watchdog handed the trust 28 points for improvement, including addressing the bullying “across the organisation”, and addressing the “disconnect between the board and the wider organisation”.

Providing an update to the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUH) board of directors last week, deputy chief executive Rupert Egginton said several engagement events have since been held with staff to address concerns.

This will continue, he says, while senior leaders continue to build a “wider picture” of problems surrounding leadership and bullying, which will then be fed into the improvement programme.

He adds several hospital workers have already approached the leadership team to share their stories, with meetings arranged to explore them “in more detail”.

Mr Egginton said: “The report is critical of the way our organisation is led, and as leaders of the trust, we have reflected deeply on the findings and are completely committed to leading differently and more effectively as we move forwards.

“We want to address these concerns through conversations with our staff about how we can improve processes and help our staff to deliver the best possible services for our patients.

“We are committed to ensuring everyone feels a part of a more positive, open and supportive culture across our organisation and that is what we will now work towards.

“It is important to note the report gives due credit for the care, dignity, compassion, and kindness our staff provide for our patients.

“We all regard any element of bullying and especially where this is linked to discrimination of any sort as totally unacceptable and we will work tirelessly to improve this.”

The only area not criticised in the scathing report was the quality of care, which the watchdog continues to view as “outstanding”.

Mr Egginton moved to reassure the public on this issue, stating the “negative aspects of this report focus on the leadership of the organisation”, rather than the care they will receive.

Last week, Lilian Greenwood, Labour MP for Nottingham South, had said: “It is shocking inspectors uncovered evidence of bullying, race discrimination and a lack of integrity.

“It is clear the staff in our city’s hospitals are working hard to provide high standards of care but are not always receiving the support they need from the Trust’s senior management. This is completely unacceptable.”

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