• NHS Improvement refuses to commit to making investigation public
  • Carole Taylor Brown looking at governance and culture of Wirral trust
  • Investigation will also examine regulator’s handling of whistleblowers’ concerns

NHS Improvement has refused to commit to making public the independent investigation into the governance of Wirral University Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust.

The regulator announced earlier this month that it would commission an independent investigation after revelations by HSJ about widespread concerns over management and culture at the trust, including allegations of bullying.

Carole Taylor Brown, a former primary care trust chief executive, has been appointed to carry out the investigation, which will also consider NHSI’s handling of concerns raised with it by trust directors in November.

Her report is due to be submitted to NHSI next month.

Asked if the report would be made public, with appropriate redactions for non-senior individuals, the regulator said: “A final decision on publication of the report and any recommendations made will be made in due course.”

Despite trust executives raising concerns about former chief executive David Allison and chair Michael Carr, the regulator offered Mr Allison a six month secondment when he left the trust in December.

Following HSJ’s reporting, which included allegations that Mr Allison had secured work with software company Draper and Dash without informing the trust board and then attempted to secure business for the company, the regulator withdrew the secondment offer. His job with Draper and Dash has also come to an end.

When he announced the investigation, NHSI chief executive Ian Dalton said: “The allegations made to NHS Improvement regarding some of the behavioural and cultural practices at Wirral University Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust are very serious.”

Last week, it emerged that consultants had invited Mr Carr to attend an extraordinary meeting of the “medical board” to “give account of himself” and they could hold a vote of no confidence.

HSJ understands Mr Carr will decline the invitation.