NHS TDA publishes independent review on the handling by the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust of concerns raised by and related to Mrs Haynes-Kirkbright

Following concerns raised by a member of staff at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, the NHS TDA commissioned Verita to conduct an independent review.

The purpose of the review was to establish whether the trust acted appropriately and followed due process in the handling by The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust of concerns raised by and related to Mrs Haynes-Kirkbright, whether the trust investigations were robust and whether the findings were reasonable based on the evidence.

After a thorough and detailed investigation, the review has concluded that the trust’s handling of concerns raised by and related to Mrs Haynes-Kirkbright were significantly flawed and that she was not treated fairly.

NHS Improvement is now commissioning an independent governance review of the trust to ensure a dedicated and focussed examination of a number of governance issues that were identified during the course of the independent review. Investigating these matters was outside of Verita’s terms of reference.

The Terms of Reference for this review have been published today and NHS Improvement is commissioning an independent team to lead this work. This team will include input from senior NHS leaders, ensuring that issues are considered by peers as well as external reviewers and making use of the extensive experience for improvement that exists within the NHS.

Fran Steele, Portfolio Director at the NHS Trust Development Authority, said:

“It is essential that people feel able to raise concerns and have the confidence that these will be looked into and that disciplinary and grievance procedures are undertaken properly. This review has found that Mrs Haynes-Kirkbright was not treated fairly.

“Following other issues raised during this investigation, we have commissioned a governance review to support the trust in developing leadership and oversight of governance across the organisation, in line with best practice and a positive approach to good governance.

“We have been assured that the trust has made improvements to its processes since this issue was raised. The trust will continue to focus on providing high quality services for patients.”

The governance review will assess the Trust’s approach and culture around governance and identify any areas of good practice as well as actions for the Trust to ensure a strong management culture with a positive approach to good governance. It will make use of experienced leadership from within the NHS to ensure that Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust gets the best advice on making any improvements that may be necessary.

It is expected to consider evidence from external and regulatory assessments, survey results and interviews with internal and external stakeholders. Experienced NHS leaders will act as senior advisers to the reviewers. The terms of reference for the review have been published today.

The report can be accessed by clicking here.


Governance review: Terms of Reference

The overall purpose of the governance review is to support Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust in developing their Board leadership of the governance underpinning the organisation, in line with best practice and a positive approach to good governance. The review team will include experienced senior NHS leaders not involved with the trust in order to ensure peer review in the process.

The terms of reference for the governance review are to:

  • assess current approaches to governance including identifying any areas of good or poor practice;
  • assess the culture and attitude towards governance demonstrated by the Trust Board;
  • assess Board-level capability and capacity to provide appropriate leadership of good governance throughout the Trust;
  • identify actions that should be taken by the Trust to ensure a strong management culture with a positive approach to good governance;
  • identify action that should be taken by NHSI to ensure a strong management culture at the Trust with a positive approach to good governance;
  • identify any areas of support required by RWT to ensure a strong management culture with a positive approach to good governance.

The lessons from the Trust’s handling of concerns raised by and related to Mrs Haynes-Kirkbright and the concerns about governance arising from it will be considered as part of this governance review.

The review will be commissioned immediately and will be expected to commence as soon as possible.

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