The Chairman of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust has announced plans for an anti bullying initiative. He has also told health bosses on the Isle of Wight that change needs to move much faster if it is to win a “good” rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Vaughan Thomas told this week’s meeting of the NHS Trust board that,
“It is only through the Trust being aware of problems that they can be addressed. We need to encourage openness and honest reflection amongst staff and change the culture of the past.”
The organisation has appointed a ‘Freedom to Speak Up’ guardian, Leisa Gardiner, supported by recently appointed ‘Freedom to Speak Up’ advocates.
Mr Thomas revealed plans for scheme to tackle fears of bullying in the organisation and to encourage staff to speak up. He said,
“…the Trust Board will work to protect individuals who do speak up and will address issues promptly.
“This has been a difficult period for the Trust with media coverage of several difficult inquests, one ‘on going’, and General Medical Council (GMC) involvement with a doctor who used to work here. However difficult we may think this news is, it is nothing by comparison with the effect such failings have on those who use our services. We have and continue to offer our sincere apologies to those affected.
“We know that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found Trust staff to be caring in both the reports following the inspections in 2014 and 2016. We also know that trust staff have reported concerns about bullying. A bullying culture inevitably suppresses honesty and impedes transparency. None of these things are acceptable.”
Mr Thomas urged staff to report problems to professional or regulatory bodies, including the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the General Medical Council (GMC), the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).