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CEOs ‘risk becoming prisoners’ in trusts with poor culture


Trust chief executives risk becoming “prisoners” of organisations with poor cultures if they do not “step back and see the bigger picture”, a former chief inspector of hospitals has said.

Ted Baker said he was “tired” of people getting angry about cultural problems in the NHS while doing nothing to change it, amid an appeal for “less anger and more thoughtful interventions”.

He told HSJ’s Patient Safety Congress greater understanding was needed about what will change culture, and working to do so, rather than “rail against the culture in the way people do all the time”.

Professor Baker said: “One of my real concerns is that we often end up criticising individuals in organisations because they, if you like, embody the ‘wrong’ culture.

“But many individuals are often prisoners of the culture themselves, but we don’t see that.

“You put a chief executive into an organisation with a poor culture, if they don’t have the wisdom and the vision to step back and see the bigger picture, they could become trapped in the culture themselves.”

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Source: HSJ, 24 October 2022

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