Birmingham & Black Country

Dudley hospital review leaves medics feeling 'betrayed'

Russells Hall Hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust runs Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley

A union has written to the health secretary to raise concerns about the handling of complaints about bullying and harassment at a hospital trust.

The Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) wrote to Matt Hancock on behalf of staff at Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.

It comes following the publication of an independent report into reports of bullying at the trust.

The hospital trust said it continued to promote a "safe culture".

The independent Capsticks report, published in May of this year into alleged bullying, made 32 findings.

It said while the trust had "sought to promote a speaking up culture", some staff believed this was "a superficial approach and do not have trust and confidence in the trust's formal processes".

However, it concluded allegations of bulling had "not been substantiated".

Its findings had left consultants feeling "deflated and betrayed", HCSA president Dr Claudia Poloni said.

Her letter to Mr Hancock said a meeting involving local MPs and further comments from clinicians had shown the review had "failed to restore their confidence and has had a detrimental impact on morale".

It said the findings "fatally undermined the trust of doctors in this process".

The letter called on Mr Hancock to meet with consultants to better understand their concerns.

Diane Wake, chief executive of the hospital trust, said senior managers "fully accepted the conclusions and recommendations" of the report and "continue to work on our improvement plan that staff helped to develop".

"We continue to promote a safe culture with open two-way communication to ensure all staff feel valued and supported in providing quality care for our patients."

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