GMB Experts in the World of Work
Join GMB today
 Follow @GMB_union

Halt East Sussex NHS Witch Hunt

Monday, September 29, 2014

GMB Call On East Sussex NHS Trust Managers To Halt Search For Names Of Staff Who Spoke To CQC During Recent Visit To The Trust

Managers should tackle the culture of bullying within the Trust brought about by poor management, lack of communication and respect and need to cut finances from the Trust says GMB.

GMB, the union for staff in the NHS, is raising concerns that managers at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT)) are attempting to find out the names of members of staff who spoke to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) during their recent visit to the Trust. See notes to editors for GMB press release of 28th August on CQC visits to the Trust and listening exercise.

Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser, said “Worried staff contacted GMB over what appears to be a witch hunt by Chief Executive Darren Grayson and his management team on this.

The Chief Executive has requested his Commercial Services Deputy Director to get his managers to press staff for the names of those who spoke up for staff and patients to the CQC privately. He wants the names of staff not afraid to try and protect services by openly talking of their concerns to CQC. 

It appears that he thinks they spoke incorrectly to the CQC when they chose to talk openly and honestly to inspectors about their opinions of the issues and failings of the Trust and the effects for both staff and patients that management cuts, redeployments and closures are having and will continue to have upon hospital services within Eastbourne.

Staff were told that they could not attend the initial public listening event in Eastbourne by the Trust. Some of the staff, who rightfully refused that instruction, decided that as residents and users of the hospital services that they did have the right to attend, only then to be disgracefully prevented from attending on the night and being turned away at the door.

For others such was the concern about being able to freely speak to inspectors without Trust interference that the CQC decided to put on a further event in Eastbourne at the Grand Hotel for staff to be able to come along and talk to them out of the workplace and in confidence.

I fully expect the CQC report to confirm that even despite the Trusts management incompetence, underfunding, lack of resources, and rising workloads that in fact frontline healthcare professional and support teams are delivering excellent over all patient services, in a professional and caring way.

Managers should call off hunt for names and tackle the culture of bullying within the Trust that has been brought about by a poor management, lack of communication and respect and a requirement to remove finances from the Trust as soon as possible.

GMB members believe this retaliatory approach by managers is because, rather than following the Trust edict to stay within a prepared brief on how and what to say to inspectors should they be asked a question, they opted to raise real and legitimate concerns in an effort to protect all they value within the Trust and the NHS.”

End

Contact: Gary Palmer GMB Organiser 07552165950, Mark Turner GMB Branch Secretary 07860 787973 or Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977 518042 or GMB press office 07921 289880.

Notes to editor

GMB press release of 28th August

GMB URGE EAST SUSSEX NHS STAFF AND PUBLIC TO ATTEND CQC LISTENING EVENTS IN HASTINGS AND EAST SUSSEX ON 4TH SEPTEMBER PRIOR TO HOSPITALS INSPECTIONS

Events will afford opportunity to tell all about the detrimental changes brought about through the cuts and mismanagement of Chief Executive Darren Grayson and his team says GMB

GMB, the union for staff in the NHS, is urging staff and the public who either work at or use the hospitals and services of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) to attend Care Quality Commission (CQC) public meetings to be held in Hastings and Eastbourne on Thursday 4th September.

These listening meetings are designed to find out more about the inspection process, inform the team about  experiences of care and what or where improvements could be made in the future, and as to how they, as patients or staff, are treated by the Trust.

This is then intended to allow the inspection team to be able to plan the visit to the Trust and focus on the things that really matter to people who depend on and deliver these services, and to deliver a report on how ESHT stands against national standards. 

The details for the listening meetings are as follows:

 

From 11am to 12.30pm Thursday 4th September

White Rock Theatre,

Hastings, TN34 1JX

 

From 6pm to 7.30pm Thursday 4th September

The International Lawn Tennis Centre,

Devonshire Park,

Eastbourne, BN21 4JJ

 

Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser, said “These two events will afford both the people of East Sussex who use the services and the NHS staff who deliver that service the best opportunity to tell the commission all about the detrimental changes to provision and delivery brought about through the cuts and mismanagement of Chief Executive Darren Grayson and his team.

We believe that the Trust were hoping for a full and open assessment of the hospitals they run, but it seems that Mr Grayson may just possibly be a little worried about the inspection as our members are telling us that staff are being selected and called in to be briefed in what to say when they meet with the inspectors on their visit.

With this approach we can only assume that anyone known to have a more critical or difference of opinion on the damage that the mismanagement is having on the hospital, patients and staff will not have the opportunity to speak to the commission.

We also understand that to date the Trust may have spent potentially around £25,000 on updating and replacing signage around the Eastbourne Hospital in preparation for the visit. This  is not an insignificant a sum on its own, but if you also take into account on top of that costs for any of the additional cleaning, painting and repairs to impress the CQC, you wonder if that money could not have been better spent elsewhere on perhaps recruitment, retention or improvements for staff and to services.

From what I see and hear on my frequent visits to the Trust and from meetings with members and staff, I’ll be expecting the report to clearly identify that frontline healthcare staff and support services within the Trust are caring, supportive, empathetic and extremely professional and that they deliver the best services possible despite the additional pressures they  face brought about by the Trust’s cuts, under resourcing, over working and constant mismanagement, together with family pressures from pay freezes or pay awards way below any cost of living rises. 

But equally management has done little to improve or halt any work place culture of bullying and harassment by management or even shown a desire to improve the current lack of communication, consultation or consideration of staff on issues which matter to them.

These visits are important. We urge everyone to come along to the public meetings on the 4th September to help the CQC gain an understanding of what it’s really like to be treated by or work within the Trust.

The CQC visit can only be enhanced by everyone giving their personal views on everything good and bad at the trust on the 4th Sept, come along and let your voice be heard about your hospital, jobs and services.”

End

 

Share this page
+1