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The Christie Foundation Trust continues to make headlines for its handling of concerns around a major research project.
As previously reported, there are various investigations into a £20m partnership with pharmaceutical giant Roche, and the treatment of staff who raised concerns over the project.
But following a new all-staff email, trust chair Christine Outram has been accused of making a “misleading” claim around the extent to which a critical draft report – revealed in December – was “watered down” before being finalised in January.
In the email sent last week, Ms Outram claimed “no changes were made to the material” in a critical “addendum” section of the report.
But analysis of both the draft and final versions, of which HSJ has obtained copies, shows there were multiple changes and deletions from the addendum section from the draft report, which were made by the author after “reviewing further evidence” and a final meeting with management at The Christie.
One section of the draft that was deleted from the final version had accused managers, executives and the trust board of an “underlying systemic failure” to implement recommendations from two previous reports, in 2012 and 2018, which would have improved the culture and practices in the research division.
Roger Kline, a former union official who has been supporting staff who raised concerns about the project, said the claim that no changes had been made to the addendum was “misleading”, and the trust should explain why staff were misinformed.
But when asked to explain or clarify, a trust spokesman said: “We won’t be issuing any comment regarding the email which was a briefing for our staff.”
Hopefully trust leaders have been more forthcoming when giving evidence to NHS England’s ongoing investigations.