Independent investigation findings and recommendations published

The NHS Trust Development Authority has today published the findings from an independent investigation into five complaints raised by former staff about their employment with the former Worcestershire Health organisations* and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust.

The investigation was commissioned by the NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) and conducted by an expert independent investigator to formally review the management and HR processes surrounding the cases, in order to identify if there were common issues in these cases, particularly evidence of bullying and harassment by Trust Managers.

In the context of the five cases between 2009 and 2015, the investigation also considered the effectiveness of all the NHS trusts’ processes and procedures for managing grievances and enabling staff to raise concerns, in order to identify any lessons to be learnt.

*Former organisations include: Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and Worcestershire Primary Care Trust

Jeffrey Worrall, Portfolio Director at the NHS Trust Development Authority said:

“We would like to thank each individual that came forward to raise their concerns and appreciate this has been a long and difficult process for them, so we are grateful for their time and participation. We welcome the independent and impartial findings into these sensitive cases, and the care taken by our independent investigator to produce a balanced and fair report. We have a duty to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of the participants of this review, but we are committed to publishing the overall findings and recommendations for the Trust to take forward.”

“The cases reviewed do not show evidence of systemic bullying of staff by managers or support allegations that individuals were inappropriately singled out.  However, individuals have made it clear that they suffered great distress and personal difficulties as a result of these investigations, and it is important that this is acknowledged and lessons learned. It is very clear that there were inconsistencies in the standards of investigations undertaken at that time, training for investigators and reporting.”

“The recommendations from this review are designed to further improve support to staff and training for investigators, to ensure all cases of this nature are handled with the sensitivity and understanding required.  The NHS TDA will work closely with the Trust and support them to address the recommendations and, where necessary, improve investigation processes for staff.  The Trust has drawn up an action plan for delivery and will report to the TDA on progress.”

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