NHS England is trying to force a prestigious cancer trust to publicly apologise to a group of whistleblowers, after being ‘shocked’ by the way it responded to a review into their concerns.
As HSJ reported in January, an external review into The Christie Foundation Trust supported multiple concerns which had been raised by staff about a major research project with pharma giant Roche.
The review had also noted how 20 current and former employees, some of whom were “long-standing, loyal, senior staff”, had described bullying behaviours and felt they had suffered detriment because they spoke out.
In response to the review, trust chair Christine Outram and chief executive Roger Spencer issued a bullish report listing numerous “inaccuracies” and characterised the concerns as being limited to a “small number of staff who are dissatisfied or aggrieved”.
It did not thank the staff for raising the issues, nor apologise for the experiences they had. However, HSJ has now learned that NHSE is trying to ensure the trust issues a public apology.
At a meeting with some of the whistleblowers on 11 February, David Levy, medical director for NHSE North West, said he was “shocked” and “frankly a bit angry” at the trust’s response, saying it reflected badly on the organisation, HSJ understands.
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Source: HSJ, 9 March 2022