Wednesday 22 May 2024
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Action plan in place to improve Trust as staff show ‘strong reactions’ around culture of bullying and racism at Nottingham Hospitals

An action plan to improve leadership at Nottingham hospitals has highlighted the main concerns of staff as the trust strives to turn around a damning inspection report.

Inspectors the Care Quality Commission (CQC) made an unannounced visit at the Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital in July 2021, which found Nottingham University Hospitals Trust ‘requires improvement’ and highlighted a ‘culture of bullying’.

Meetings with staff have since been held and an action plan developed.

Now, the Trust Acting Chief Executive has outlined in a board meeting report that staff had the “strongest reactions” during discussions around “cultures of bullying, racism and issues with inclusion”.

Rupert Egginton has pledged to staff the trust board will “not stop until we put this right”.

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The trust is focusing on improving its leadership after the CQC report noted it scored a rating of ‘inadequate’ for ‘well led’.

The trust is now in a race to make “significant improvement” in five areas by 28 January 2022.

As part of the drive to return the ‘well led’ aspect to a ‘good’ rating within 18 months, the November board report detailed actions which have been taken by the trust so far.

The ‘action plan’ includes ‘open listening’ events with the Medical Director and Chief Nurse, staff engagement and the introduction of a dedicated executive email address to allow staff to contact the team in confidence.

Certain measures have already been put in place – including a board development programme, executive coaching and a review of the strategy covering how the organisation represents people from black, Asian and other ethnic backgrounds.

Mr Egginton wrote in a report to the November meeting: “Since the publication of the report, the Executive Team have continued to meet with staff to talk through the detail of the report, either through large staff sessions or by attending team meetings.

“We have apologised for the effect this may have had on them and our organisation, and for any impact on our patients and community, including loss of confidence in our services.

“By far the strongest reactions have been around cultures of
bullying, racism and issues with inclusion. We have heard staff concerns and are absolutely determined to tackle these head on. We want to be really clear: bullying, racism and barriers to inclusion will not be tolerated in any form.

“We want every member of staff to feel safe, secure and happy coming into work – without fear of facing bullying or discrimination – so that we can all work to our greatest potential. Our pledge to our staff is that we will not stop until we put this right.”

He said senior leaders at the trust have “begun to create a plan” – as part of it, the Board and Executive Team “continue to be visible”, attending group meetings and seeing individual staff who wish to raise concerns.

Another idea being explored is using an online platform to “give everyone the opportunity to make their voice heard”.

Mr Egginton added: “We aim to develop an open, inclusive and compassionate leadership to create the positive culture our organisation deserves.”

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