• Regulator commissioned report into concerns about regulation department
  • Consultancy firm Bladonmore focused on transactions and sustainable solutions team
  • Project brief specifies “personal profiling” of 19 directors in the team

NHS Improvement commissioned a review of part of its regulation directorate, including “personal profiling” of individual directors, amid concerns the team is not working effectively enough.

NHSI would not confirm what the report’s recommendations were or whether it was acting on them.

A briefing document, published last August, inviting bidders to carry out the review said it would focus on NHSI’s transactions and sustainable solutions team. It said there would be “surveys and personal profiling” of 19 of the team’s directors and their direct reports.

The document, released to HSJ under the Freedom of Information Act, said: “We know that since the establishment of NHS Improvement some things have not been working as effectively as they could be within parts of the regulation directorate.

“Some of the issues and concerns that have been raised relate to: the effectiveness of the joint leadership model for the TSS team, effective delegation, accountability and areas of responsibility, how the directorate engages with other NHS Improvement teams (particularly the regions).”

It also cited “a perceived loss of team culture” and “lack of clarity about decision making”.

The regulation directorate is led by Stephen Hay, who is also NHSI’s deputy chief executive.

A Freedom of Information Act request showed consultancy firm Bladonmore won the contract to deliver the report at the end of 2017. The £47,000 NHSI paid included a teambuilding exercise.

HSJ understands the report was completed and delivered but will not be published. NHSI said releasing it would breach the confidence of staff who took part in interviews on condition of anonymity.

The briefing document said the regulation directorate had a 115 staff against a full establishment of 160. This included 54 people in the transactions and sustainable solutions team; 24 in operations and performance; 27 in legal, which includes the investigations and interventions team; and 10 people looking at competition.

NHSI made no further comment.