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Nearly a dozen junior doctors have been withdrawn from the general surgery department of a London hospital following concerns of a “culture of fear”, bullying and inadequate supervision.

NHS England has stepped in at Barnet Hospital, in north London, after a review uncovered concerns regarding staff behaviour and safety.

The hospital is run by the Royal Free London Foundation Trust, and 11 surgical foundation year trainees have been relocated to different sites within the trust.

Colin Melville, medical director and director of education and standards at the General Medical Council, said: “Doctors in training in the department reported a culture of fear, worry and feeling unsupported and unable to raise concerns in the appropriate manner.

“There are also concerns over their supervision, bullying, and undermining behaviours in the department, as well as doctors’ physical and mental wellbeing.

“Because of the [trust’s] failure to meet the high standards we require, we stand firmly with NHSE workforce, training, and education London’s decision to relocate the 11 trainees, [to] where they can work and learn in a supportive environment.”

The trust has since apologised and said it is working with NHSE on concerns identified at the Royal Free hospital, although details are unclear.

Cera meet Samantha

Former Downing Street and NHS leader Samantha Jones will join Cera’s advisory board, the company has announced. Ms Jones, appointed as the lead non-executive director at the Department of Health and Social Care last year, will provide advice on social care. Joining her are Lord Wood of Anfield, Hilary Evans, and Benjamin Wegg-Prosser.

Ms Jones previously led NHSE’s new care model programme and served as a hospital trust chief executive. While she was briefly the head of Boris Johnson’s Office of the Prime Minister in 2022, she had been his senior adviser on social care and NHS reform.

Non-executive directors at DHSC provide external advice and expertise and are paid £15,000 a year for three days’ work a month. Cera develops technology for remote monitoring and predicting health deterioration.

Also on today

Integrated care boards are challenged to do more to prioritise health inequalities, despite growing budget pressures, in a couple of timely new publications, writes Dave West in The Integrator. And we report that trusts and NHS England are failing to prioritise training for senior leaders on listening to whistleblowers, according to the National Guardian’s Office.