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Trust leaders must admit ‘entrenched’ bullying culture or leave, says review author

The leaders of University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) must acknowledge and seek to tackle the organisation’s pervasive bullying culture, and those who cannot may need to leave, the lead author of its patient safety review has warned.

In an interview with HSJ, Mike Bewick said humility is required to address major cultural issues identified through conversations he had with senior medics and former employees.

Professor Bewick’s overall view was that UHB was a “safe” place to receive care, but his team had been “disturbed” by consistent reporting of a bullying culture. Professor Bewick wrote in his report that even during his six-week review, initial goodwill from the trust had “dissipated”, adding his team has seen an organisation that is “culturally very reluctant to accept criticism”.

Speaking to HSJ, he acknowledged there were people within UHB who do not accept cultural problems, adding: “I would hope they see the right thing to do is to accept [they] didn’t get everything right, to do a bit of mea culpa, have some humility, and move on. Because I don’t think there’s necessarily a place for people who can’t move on.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 28 March 2023


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