The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership.

The latest in what one HSJ reader called a “continuous stream of bad news stories”, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust are set to be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.

The regulator has confirmed, following an investigation, that it is going to prosecute the trust for its handling of asbestos at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital during the refurbishment of old nursing accommodation in 2012.

The HSE began its investigation in 2015 after it was alerted to the issue by former trust employee Les Small, who - according to a tribunal hearing - was “dismissed within minutes” of raising concerns to managers.

The tribunal ruled he had made protected disclosures under the Public Interest Disclosure Act and his dismissal was a detriment.

Gender balanced boards better for patients

The chair of the Health and Care Women’s Leaders Network has called out the NHS for failing to track women’s progress in taking on senior roles.

Samantha Allen, who is also chief executive of Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, has branded the progress made by the NHS in tackling the gender pay gap as “disappointing” as there has only been 1 per cent improvement over the past five years.

In an exclusive interview with HSJ, Ms Allen said that gender balanced and diverse boards result in better and safer care, and are better for employers’ sustainability.

Retention is a top priority for NHS leaders and Ms Allen argued that trusts are not offering enough to keep their existing members of staff. She highlighted the need to rewrite job advertisements to make it clear flexible working is an option.

She also highlighted the importance of training and development in retaining staff, and said her trust has had to get creative due to the reduction in central funding.