• Culture review launched by Surrey Heartlands CCG
  • Review led by respected management and culture expert Duncan Lewis  
  • It follows “injustices suffered by BAME staff” and “feedback from staff”

A clinical commissioning group has ordered an independent review of its culture which it said was prompted by the “injustices experienced by black Asian and minority ethic colleagues” during the pandemic, HSJ has learned.

The review at Surrey Heartlands CCG, due to report in the autumn, is being led by Duncan Lewis, emeritus professor of management at Plymouth University. He has led several major reviews into culture at NHS organisations, including one into bullying and harassment at South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust in 2017 and one into workplace culture at Whittington Health Trust in 2018.

HSJ asked the CCG for the terms of reference of the review and the reasons why it felt it necessary to commission such an inquiry. It said the review’s scope would be determined by what staff felt was important regarding “our organisational culture, policy and practice – things we do well and things we need to improve”.

It added in a statement: “We will listen to the findings of the review and we will make any changes that are necessary.”

It is not yet clear if specific events within the organisation itself prompted the CCG to take the unusual step of commissioning the work. But the commissioner’s interim chief did say “feedback from staff” had been a driver.

The CCG’s interim accountable officer Claire Fuller said in a statement: “In response to the impact of recent international events relating to systemic racism, injustices experienced by [BAME] colleagues during the covid-19 pandemic and feedback from staff, we have commissioned an independent review of our organisational culture. This will help us develop the best possible working environment for all our staff.

“We take our duty of care for the wellbeing of our staff extremely seriously and we are committed to promoting a culture of inclusion. We remain completely open to implementing any necessary changes based on the findings of the review.”

Dr Fuller is also the senior responsible officer for the Surrey Heartlands integrated care system, which is coterminous with the CCG. However, the review only covers the CCG.

The CCG added the “injustices” were the disproportionate impact of covid on BAME communities and the “local impact felt by colleagues” after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while being arrested in the US.

2021 HSJ Value Awards

The HSJ Value Awards help raise the bar in healthcare delivery by celebrating the projects and teams driving operational, financial and clinical improvements across the health system. Showcase your influence and expertise in delivering improvements in people and talent management by entering the People and Organisational Development Initiative of the Year category. If your initiative is changing the lives of patients and staff for the better, our judges want to hear about it! Give your team the thanks and recognition they deserve, and take part in the only awards programme focused on driving clinical, operational and financial value across the health system. Entries close on 26th November.

Register your interest