Look behind the veneer at hospitals

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So, East Lancashire Health Trust that runs our hospital has been taken out of special measures.

But, as Prof. Sir Mike Richards states: “They still have a long way to go in several areas”. Indeed they do. It was interesting Prof. Richards felt staff were increasingly proud of where they worked and felt the culture of the Trust was changing. Really!

I assume Prof. Richards has read his own chairman of the Care Quality Commission David Prior’s report published earlier this year in which he states failing hospitals need serious transformational change, and need to bring an end to the bullying culture that seems endemic in failing hospitals.

He was alarmed to find a poll of 100,000 staff found 25% claimed to have been bullied. He also found the Trust he investigated (not East Lancashire) tolerated institutionalised out-dated working practices and old-fashioned hierarchies which almost encouraged managers and clinicians to occupy opposing camps.

So Mr Burrell (interim chief executive) and his team must be highly commended for turning around a culture that has existed for decades in a matter of months. You have to wonder if Prof. Richards and his team looked behind the veneer of the East Lancashire Trust, or maybe he feels his chairman, David Prior, has opened a Pandora’s box that needs to be closed as soon as possible.

If you talk to the right people there is ample evidence of a bullying culture that still exists, as described by Mr Prior in his report. Perhaps it’s time the Care Quality Commission did a root and branch investigation into bullying in the Trust and find out if David Prior also feels there has been a transformational change. And that an oil tanker has been turned around in record time. I will look forward to any response from anyone in the Trust who cares to respond.

Mr M. Kilbride

Kingsdale Avenue, Burnley