• Sheffield Health and Social Care FT is taking steps to deal with culture problems in one of its directorates
  • Trust chief executive says organisation takes whistleblowing “very seriously”
  • Anonymous staff member describes “culture of fear” in department

A second NHS organisation in Sheffield is facing accusations of bullying and a poor culture, HSJ has learned.

Sheffield Health and Social Care Foundation Trust has been made aware of issues in one of its directorates and is taking steps to address the problems, according to its chief executive Kevan Taylor.

The trust has responded to accusations from a staff member, who asked to remain anonymous and described “bullying and a culture of fear” within a directorate at the mental health trust.

They told HSJ colleagues had been brought to tears by a senior member of staff in the department and numerous staff members had left because they were unhappy.

The accusations, initially reported by local newspaper The Star, are centred around one of the directorates in the trust. However, the trust told HSJ it could not confirm which directorate this was or provide further details on individual cases.

Mr Taylor said: “We have been made aware of issues in one of our directorates and we are taking the necessary steps to address these problems with appropriate action.”

“We take any instance of whistleblowing very seriously and I would like to encourage any member of staff who has concerns to formally raise them and reassure them it will be listened to and acted on,” Mr Taylor said. “We have very clear expectations of our leaders and what we consider to be appropriate behaviour.”

“We’re working together with staff to develop a culture where everyone feels respected, engaged, heard and valued,” Mr Taylor added.

HSJ revealed last month that Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group was facing serious questions over its leadership and culture, amid bullying allegations, whistleblowing complaints and a critical independent investigation, which the CCG published online after HSJ’s report.

The external review of the CCG identified widespread issues about poor behaviour by senior CCG staff, as well as dissatisfaction over the handling of bullying and harassment cases, a lack of a clear strategy and poor relationships between members of the governing body.