PERFORMANCE: The NHS Trust Development Authority has appointed Sir Ian Carruthers to head a review of Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust’s board amid allegations of bullying and harrassment by senior staff.
The bullying allegations were raised in a critical report by the Care Quality Commission, released last week following an inspection in February.
Inspectors rated the trust as “requires improvement”, identifying 20 areas where it must improve.
Some trust staff told inspectors that there was “little communication and silo working within divisions and across the main hospital sites”, according to the CQC report.
“Some staff felt under intense pressure to cover gaps in rotas, and gave examples of when they felt bullied and harassed by senior management,” it added.
“Some staff felt disempowered and anxious about raising concerns and spoke of a bullying culture in the accident and emergency department and across some surgical specialities…meeting targets was a priority for some managers over patient care.”
Junior doctors told inspectors they felt “stressed and unsupported”, having been pressurised to cover shifts, carry multiple pagers and to act up to senior roles “when they had not yet completed the competencies”.
Publication of the CQC report follows the resignation last month of East Yorkshire’ chief executive Phil Morley, who said he quit for “personal reasons”.
The trust’s interim chief executive Jon Saxby said: “A recommendation has been made for us to investigate why some staff feel that they are bullied or feel pressure to undertake additional hours.
“I am already looking at how we can ask an independent body to come in to the trust and help understand the scale of this problem and what actions are required to address any bullying that is identified.
“I know that our doctors and nurses will always aim to make the right decision for their patients even in the most difficult of circumstances. If bullying is an issue with the trust we will find out where and eliminate the issue.”
A spokeswoman for the TDA said: “We have commissioned a governance review of the board and have not yet completed this process.”
She confirmed that Sir Ian, who was last week also appointed chair of Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, would lead the review.
Information provided to HSJ