An epidemic of nationwide bullying. In most dictatorships this precedes dissolution or breakdown….

Yours and my health services are experiencing an epidemic of bullying. In most dictatorships this precedes dissolution, rebellion or civil war…. How much more evidence do our politicians need. Without cultural change we will get no-where, and honesty is essential to change the culture. This means honesty about rationing first and foremost… Only this will bring the hearts and minds of the medical professionals on board to help rebuilding our health service.

The Eastern Daily Press reports 29th June 2015: Top doctors put the writing on the wall for Norfolk & Norwich hospital chief Anna Dugdale, after a vote on “no confidence”.

On Thursday evening, consultants held a meeting which would see Anna Dugdale decide to leave 24 hours later.

Angered at the way senior management had responded to allegations of bullying made by regulators, around 150 consultants met and decided to take matters into their own hands.

It was time for change at the top.

They agreed their course of action and the next day they made chairman John Fry – a strong supporter of Mrs Dugdale – aware of their feelings.

A board meeting was held in private that afternoon.

The next morning – at 6.20am – Mrs Dugdale emailed staff to announce her resignation, before they saw that day’s EDP, with the words “A personal message” in the subject line. A statement from Mr Fry in that email to staff was rightly full of praise for Mrs Dugdale.

The hospital has expanded and developed under her leadership.

Some staff will view her departure with reluctance, but having lost the support and confidence of her leading consultants, Mrs Dugdale had no choice. She has led the hospital for six years, during the most……

To show that this is “nationwide” Mark Smith in Walesonline reports 2nd July 2015: ‘Bullying, harassment and inappropriate behaviour’ endemic at Wales’ largest A&E

A culture of bullying, harassment and inappropriate behaviour exists at all staffing levels at Wales’ largest accident and emergency department, a scathing independent report has revealed.

A panel of three experienced healthcare professionals, who were commissioned to carry out a review of A&E services at Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales, claim acts of bullying were so “endemic” it was difficult to identify individual culprits.

It also found that the department was “significantly understaffed” and had a poor skill mix, particularly in the paediatric department.

And while no direct evidence could be found of any patients coming to harm due to poor care, it found that many were at “significant risk”.

High levels of stress-related absence

There were also claims high staff turnover, coupled with high levels of stress-related absence, had compromised patient care.

Related: Record numbers spend more than 12 hours in emergency departments, latest figures reveal

The report stated: “We found that there is clear evidence of a culture of bullying, harassment and inappropriate behaviour and treatment which pervades all levels of staff in the emergency service at the University Hospital of Wales.

“The behaviours are endemic and involve many individuals and this makes it difficult to identify individual perpetrators.”……

The Liverpool Echo, 6th March 2015 reports: Liverpool NHS boss who presided over ‘bullying’ and ‘blame’ culture lands new job


On 24th February BBC news reported: Bullying in the NHS is getting worse, annual survey shows … and we know already tha

An NHS boss who resigned after a culture of “bullying” and “blame” was exposed at a Liverpool health trust has landed a new senior job in north Wales.

Bernie Cuthel stepped down as chief executive of Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust after it was slammed by regulators last year.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued the organisation with two warnings in January 2014 for failing to meet national welfare targets – and revealed staff on a trust-run ward at Fazakerley hospital had raised concerns over “bullying” managers and a “blame culture” that made them afraid to report incidents.

Since stepping down last April, Ms Cuthel got a new job at Manchester Mental Health and Social Care NHS Trust – and this week began a five-month secondment to the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) in Bangor.

She will work as the board’s interim director of primary, community and mental health services.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper, who previously asked questions in Parliament about Ms Cuthel’s time in Liverpool, slammed the BCUHB’s decision to hire her.

The Labour politician said: “There’s a serious gap in accountability when senior executives and boards preside over a culture of bullying and intimidation.

“In the light of my investigations into the Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, I have referred Bernie Cuthel to the CQC to ask them whether she is a fit and proper person to be involved in another NHS organisation.

“We are nowhere near the end of the investigations and litigation which will come out of the Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust.”

The CQC’s inquiry last year said staff at the Liverpool trust claimed their managers were “intimidating”, “unresponsive” and “bullying”…

Paul Gallagher in The Independent 7th December 2014 reports: Claims of bullying culture among staff at Britain’s biggest NHS mental health trust

The UK’s biggest mental health NHS trust, which covers Broadmoor Hospital and units looking after the most vulnerable female patients, is in turmoil following widespread allegations of bullying, a critical Care Quality Commission inspection report and the sudden resignation of its chairman.

Nigel McCorkell, chairman of West London Mental Health NHS Trust, has unexpectedly resigned more than two years before the end of his term. Mr McCorkell, a chartered accountant, was reappointed for a second fixed four-year term in January 2013 but recently announced his retirement. He told staff he was stepping down because his term was due to end before the trust could achieve the “significant milestone” of achieving foundation status. Mr McCorkell said: “As a result, I have decided the best course of action is to retire now and make way for a new chair to see the trust through this critical next phase of its development.”

It comes after the trust was criticised by the CQC health watchdog which found that the 124 complaints made to the independent regulator between August 2013 and July 2014 were more than four times the number expected, placing the trust in “elevated risk” in this category. The watchdog placed six further aspects of its work as at risk, including deaths of patients detained under the Mental Health Act, fairness and effectiveness of incident reporting procedures, food and facilities…


tNHS whistleblowers are ‘bullied’ for raising concerns – BBC News 11th Feb 2015

In a survey of 100,000 staff it was found that the NHS is rife with bullying and needs to change, watchdog warns 2nd Feb 2014 in The Express.

The Guardian reports 11th Feb 2015: NHS whistleblowers ignored, bullied and intimidated …



This entry was posted in A Personal View, NHS managers, Stories in the Media, Trust Board Directors on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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