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Fresh allegations of whistleblower mismanagement at ‘witch hunt’ trust

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Fresh concerns have been raised about the treatment of whistleblowers by managers at a trust recently embroiled in a high-profile bullying scandal, the hospital’s workforce director has disclosed.

A series of further accusations have been made against managers at West Suffolk Foundation Trust, where executives were recently judged to have led an “intimidating, flawed” hunt for a whistleblower, prompting a series of high-profile departures.

The trust’s executive director for workforce detailed in a paper for the hospital’s July board meeting how managers had been hunting to identify staff who had raised concerns through supposedly confidential channels.

The report, by executive director of workforce and communications, Jeremy Over, said: “Feedback has been given indicating that some people have had a poor experience when speaking up.

“In two separate cases, where people spoke up in confidence, it was reported that the managers were then asking and wishing to find out who had spoken up making the individuals very uncomfortable.

“Another case reported that the individual was ‘told off’ by their manager for ‘going about their heads’ [sic] and another where staff felt discouraged from raising any points or suggestions as these were taken [as] a personal offence [by] the senior staff. In a further case, the person speaking up was criticised [for] doing so.”

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Source: HSJ, 3 August 2022

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