Councillor to meet NHS boss over claims

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CALLS have been made for an inquiry into allegations of bullying at a hospital trust, which have been recently highlighted in a critical report.

East Riding councillor Mike Whitehead said he wanted the inquiry into Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust so people would be given full protection against recrimination if they spoke out.

The councillor, a former manager at the trust until 2006, claimed staff had been intimidated into “not raising their true concerns about the activities of trust management and the full implications of the low staffing levels in clinical services”.

Coun Whitehead, who will be meeting interim chief executive John Saxby next week, also wants a report of an independent review by Sir Ian Carruthers, on behalf of the NHS Trust Development Authority, which he believes was “highly critical” of its senior management and corporate governance structure, to be made public.

Coun Whitehead said: “I am looking for the trust to be transparent about its problems and what it is doing about them.”

A trust spokesman said they had invited in Coun Whitehead. A statement said they had accepted all the findings in the recent Care Quality Commission report and would be commissioning an independent body “to help us establish whether there is an issue of bullying within the organisation”.

The NHS Trust Development Authority confirmed the review by Sir Ian had taken place around the same time as the CQC visit –but said their reports were not “routinely published”.

The CQC report into inspections at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital revealed earlier this month that some staff felt they operated under a “bullying culture”, as managers prioritised targets over care.