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Bullying, sexism and racism ‘prevalent and tolerated’ at national regulator

An external review into the Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch (HSIB), the national safety watchdog, has revealed ‘damaging’ cultural problems, including bullying, sexism and racism which go ‘right to the top of the organisation’.

The King’s Fund was commissioned by NHS England to undertake a review of the HSIB’s leadership and culture, as it prepares to be an independent organisation.

The review, seen by HSJ, concluded: “Bullying, sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination and unprofessional behaviours appear to be prevalent and tolerated – this goes right to the top of the organisation.”

The result of this was found to be “very damaging to the health and wellbeing of staff, diminished the culture and undermines the potential of the organisation”

The review also described a “perceived command-and-control approach to leadership, lack of openness to challenge, hierarchical approaches to management and behaviour that is out of step with the organisation’s values”.

The reviewers also identified a “strong voice from staff”, which felt that senior maternity investigation team leaders were “not being held accountable for behaviours that had a very negative impact on staff”.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 21 January 2022


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