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Consultant ‘cliques’ and ‘unacceptable behaviours’ put patients at risk


Deep-rooted relationship problems between consultants in a major trust’s neurosurgery department distracted from patient care, according to a review leaked to HSJ.

A review by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) into neurosurgery services at University Hospitals Birmingham FT last year found serious concerns over consultant “cliques” and relationship problems across the department.

It comes as a new review has been launched into the care of 23 patients in the deep brain stimulation service, which is a sub-speciality in the department.

According to the RCS report, which was completed in May last year, there have been wide-ranging problems within the department for several years.

The report said: “Poor team working and inter-relational difficulties, which had been deep-rooted and recognised to have existed for some time, have had the potential to compromise patient care and will be likely to continue to do so if these issues remain unresolved.”

It suggested some consultant neurosurgeons had prioritised their personal or professional differences over patient care, with the relationship issues being “amplified” within the wider surgical workforce.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 7 April 2021

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