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NHSE wants ‘witch hunt’ lessons shared widely, says trust’s CEO

NHS England wants lessons learned by a trust overhauling its culture after a high-profile bullying scandal to be shared systemwide because similar problems have been evident at other trusts, the hospital’s boss has said.

West Suffolk Foundation Trust interim chief executive Craig Black said the trust was getting national level “support” to help with a cultural overhaul after a scathing independent review published in December concluded the trust’s hunt for a whistleblower had been “intimidating… flawed, and not fit for purpose”.

Mr Black said he thought NHSE would be “looking to learn from what we are doing” because senior managers viewed concerns raised in the West Suffolk review as having ”resonance with a number of organisations in the NHS at the moment”.

As well as the specific “witch hunt” case, the review raises wider issues about how trusts respond to whistleblowing and other concerns about care and patient safety.

West Suffolk’s executive director of workforce and communications Jeremy Over told the meeting the cultural change required was “organisational development which will take time, significant time”.

The report, West Suffolk Review – organisational development plan, sets out nine broad themes of work, linked to the trust’s core functions, “that capture the priority areas for organisational and cultural development at WSFT in light of the learnings from the report”. 

The document sets out how the trust’s governance, freedom to speak up, HR, staff voice, patient safety and other parts of its corporate infrastructure failed and contributed to a scandal.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 1 March 2022


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