Tag Archives: staff

Liverpool NHS trust treated staff ‘appallingly’ – report

Watchdog uncovers evidence of harassment and bullying between 2010 and 2014

Hospital staff on a ward


Staff who spoke out say they were treated badly by the human resources department. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

An NHS trust disciplined and suspended staff who blew the whistle about poor care and its controversial plans to slash staff in order to save money, an independent inquiry has found.

Liverpool community health trust was involved in “appalling instances of staff treatment” as it tried to keep the lid on a mounting series of problems, according to a report into its conduct.

A review panel, commissioned by the watchdog NHS Improvement and led by Sir Bill Kirkup, has uncovered evidence of bullying and harassment at the trust between 2010 and 2014. The trust also tried to “conceal” the extent of bad behaviour from outside bodies and failed to learn from incidents in which patients suffered serious harm, or even died, as a result of failings in the care it provided.

The report raises concerns that have parallels with the official inquiry into the Mid Staffs care scandal published five years ago this week, notably that the Liverpool trust sought to make unrealistically ambitious savings and reduce its headcount – despite already being understaffed – in a bid to become a semi-independent NHS foundation trust.

It has also concluded that problems at the trust, which specialises in providing care outside hospital, persisted for four years and that NHS and regulatory bodies failed to spot the problems. The report is due to be published on Thursday but has been leaked to the Health Service Journal.

According to the HSJ, the trust’s then human resources director, Michelle Porteous, presented plans at a private session of the trust’s board in February for “significant staff reductions” in areas of care that were “already being highlighted as a cause for concern, partly as a result of staffing shortfalls”.

Kirkup’s panel remarks that: “There was no apparent recognition of the irony inherent in this being taken to the same board meeting that had earlier considered the implications of the [Robert] Francis Report into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust.”

Staff told the inquiry how the Liverpool trust’s human resources department was guilty of “appalling instances of staff treatment” by the trust’s human resources department and victimised and suspended personnel who raised concerns. A number of staff who did speak out “were harassed and, in some cases, subject to disciplinary action, including suspension”.

The report accuses the trust of not learning lessons from numerous episodes of poor care it provided. These included up to 19 deaths of inmates at HMP Liverpool; five patients having the wrong tooth extracted by trust dentists; patients on intermediate care wards suffering repeated falls and broken bones; other patients ending up with pressure ulcers, which are usually a sign that someone has not been looked after properly.

In one year, the trust set itself a target of saving 15% of its budget through efficiency gains, even though, the report says, savings of anything more than 4% in a year in the NHS are generally considered unrealistic.

Liverpool NHS trust treated staff ‘appallingly’ – report

Watchdog uncovers evidence of harassment and bullying between 2010 and 2014

Hospital staff on a ward


Staff who spoke out say they were treated badly by the human resources department. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

An NHS trust disciplined and suspended staff who blew the whistle about poor care and its controversial plans to slash staff in order to save money, an independent inquiry has found.

Liverpool community health trust was involved in “appalling instances of staff treatment” as it tried to keep the lid on a mounting series of problems, according to a report into its conduct.

A review panel, commissioned by the watchdog NHS Improvement and led by Sir Bill Kirkup, has uncovered evidence of bullying and harassment at the trust between 2010 and 2014. The trust also tried to “conceal” the extent of bad behaviour from outside bodies and failed to learn from incidents in which patients suffered serious harm, or even died, as a result of failings in the care it provided.

The report raises concerns that have parallels with the official inquiry into the Mid Staffs care scandal published five years ago this week, notably that the Liverpool trust sought to make unrealistically ambitious savings and reduce its headcount – despite already being understaffed – in a bid to become a semi-independent NHS foundation trust.

It has also concluded that problems at the trust, which specialises in providing care outside hospital, persisted for four years and that NHS and regulatory bodies failed to spot the problems. The report is due to be published on Thursday but has been leaked to the Health Service Journal.

According to the HSJ, the trust’s then human resources director, Michelle Porteous, presented plans at a private session of the trust’s board in February for “significant staff reductions” in areas of care that were “already being highlighted as a cause for concern, partly as a result of staffing shortfalls”.

Kirkup’s panel remarks that: “There was no apparent recognition of the irony inherent in this being taken to the same board meeting that had earlier considered the implications of the [Robert] Francis Report into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust.”

Staff told the inquiry how the Liverpool trust’s human resources department was guilty of “appalling instances of staff treatment” by the trust’s human resources department and victimised and suspended personnel who raised concerns. A number of staff who did speak out “were harassed and, in some cases, subject to disciplinary action, including suspension”.

The report accuses the trust of not learning lessons from numerous episodes of poor care it provided. These included up to 19 deaths of inmates at HMP Liverpool; five patients having the wrong tooth extracted by trust dentists; patients on intermediate care wards suffering repeated falls and broken bones; other patients ending up with pressure ulcers, which are usually a sign that someone has not been looked after properly.

In one year, the trust set itself a target of saving 15% of its budget through efficiency gains, even though, the report says, savings of anything more than 4% in a year in the NHS are generally considered unrealistic.

Liverpool NHS trust treated staff ‘appallingly’ – report

Watchdog uncovers evidence of harassment and bullying between 2010 and 2014

Hospital staff on a ward


Staff who spoke out say they were treated badly by the human resources department. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

An NHS trust disciplined and suspended staff who blew the whistle about poor care and its controversial plans to slash staff in order to save money, an independent inquiry has found.

Liverpool community health trust was involved in “appalling instances of staff treatment” as it tried to keep the lid on a mounting series of problems, according to a report into its conduct.

A review panel, commissioned by the watchdog NHS Improvement and led by Sir Bill Kirkup, has uncovered evidence of bullying and harassment at the trust between 2010 and 2014. The trust also tried to “conceal” the extent of bad behaviour from outside bodies and failed to learn from incidents in which patients suffered serious harm, or even died, as a result of failings in the care it provided.

The report raises concerns that have parallels with the official inquiry into the Mid Staffs care scandal published five years ago this week, notably that the Liverpool trust sought to make unrealistically ambitious savings and reduce its headcount – despite already being understaffed – in a bid to become a semi-independent NHS foundation trust.

It has also concluded that problems at the trust, which specialises in providing care outside hospital, persisted for four years and that NHS and regulatory bodies failed to spot the problems. The report is due to be published on Thursday but has been leaked to the Health Service Journal.

According to the HSJ, the trust’s then human resources director, Michelle Porteous, presented plans at a private session of the trust’s board in February for “significant staff reductions” in areas of care that were “already being highlighted as a cause for concern, partly as a result of staffing shortfalls”.

Kirkup’s panel remarks that: “There was no apparent recognition of the irony inherent in this being taken to the same board meeting that had earlier considered the implications of the [Robert] Francis Report into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust.”

Staff told the inquiry how the Liverpool trust’s human resources department was guilty of “appalling instances of staff treatment” by the trust’s human resources department and victimised and suspended personnel who raised concerns. A number of staff who did speak out “were harassed and, in some cases, subject to disciplinary action, including suspension”.

The report accuses the trust of not learning lessons from numerous episodes of poor care it provided. These included up to 19 deaths of inmates at HMP Liverpool; five patients having the wrong tooth extracted by trust dentists; patients on intermediate care wards suffering repeated falls and broken bones; other patients ending up with pressure ulcers, which are usually a sign that someone has not been looked after properly.

In one year, the trust set itself a target of saving 15% of its budget through efficiency gains, even though, the report says, savings of anything more than 4% in a year in the NHS are generally considered unrealistic.

Liverpool NHS trust treated staff ‘appallingly’ – report

Watchdog uncovers evidence of harassment and bullying between 2010 and 2014

Hospital staff on a ward


Staff who spoke out say they were treated badly by the human resources department. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

An NHS trust disciplined and suspended staff who blew the whistle about poor care and its controversial plans to slash staff in order to save money, an independent inquiry has found.

Liverpool community health trust was involved in “appalling instances of staff treatment” as it tried to keep the lid on a mounting series of problems, according to a report into its conduct.

A review panel, commissioned by the watchdog NHS Improvement and led by Sir Bill Kirkup, has uncovered evidence of bullying and harassment at the trust between 2010 and 2014. The trust also tried to “conceal” the extent of bad behaviour from outside bodies and failed to learn from incidents in which patients suffered serious harm, or even died, as a result of failings in the care it provided.

The report raises concerns that have parallels with the official inquiry into the Mid Staffs care scandal published five years ago this week, notably that the Liverpool trust sought to make unrealistically ambitious savings and reduce its headcount – despite already being understaffed – in a bid to become a semi-independent NHS foundation trust.

It has also concluded that problems at the trust, which specialises in providing care outside hospital, persisted for four years and that NHS and regulatory bodies failed to spot the problems. The report is due to be published on Thursday but has been leaked to the Health Service Journal.

According to the HSJ, the trust’s then human resources director, Michelle Porteous, presented plans at a private session of the trust’s board in February for “significant staff reductions” in areas of care that were “already being highlighted as a cause for concern, partly as a result of staffing shortfalls”.

Kirkup’s panel remarks that: “There was no apparent recognition of the irony inherent in this being taken to the same board meeting that had earlier considered the implications of the [Robert] Francis Report into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust.”

Staff told the inquiry how the Liverpool trust’s human resources department was guilty of “appalling instances of staff treatment” by the trust’s human resources department and victimised and suspended personnel who raised concerns. A number of staff who did speak out “were harassed and, in some cases, subject to disciplinary action, including suspension”.

The report accuses the trust of not learning lessons from numerous episodes of poor care it provided. These included up to 19 deaths of inmates at HMP Liverpool; five patients having the wrong tooth extracted by trust dentists; patients on intermediate care wards suffering repeated falls and broken bones; other patients ending up with pressure ulcers, which are usually a sign that someone has not been looked after properly.

In one year, the trust set itself a target of saving 15% of its budget through efficiency gains, even though, the report says, savings of anything more than 4% in a year in the NHS are generally considered unrealistic.

Liverpool NHS trust treated staff ‘appallingly’ – report

Watchdog uncovers evidence of harassment and bullying between 2010 and 2014

Hospital staff on a ward


Staff who spoke out say they were treated badly by the human resources department. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

An NHS trust disciplined and suspended staff who blew the whistle about poor care and its controversial plans to slash staff in order to save money, an independent inquiry has found.

Liverpool community health trust was involved in “appalling instances of staff treatment” as it tried to keep the lid on a mounting series of problems, according to a report into its conduct.

A review panel, commissioned by the watchdog NHS Improvement and led by Sir Bill Kirkup, has uncovered evidence of bullying and harassment at the trust between 2010 and 2014. The trust also tried to “conceal” the extent of bad behaviour from outside bodies and failed to learn from incidents in which patients suffered serious harm, or even died, as a result of failings in the care it provided.

The report raises concerns that have parallels with the official inquiry into the Mid Staffs care scandal published five years ago this week, notably that the Liverpool trust sought to make unrealistically ambitious savings and reduce its headcount – despite already being understaffed – in a bid to become a semi-independent NHS foundation trust.

It has also concluded that problems at the trust, which specialises in providing care outside hospital, persisted for four years and that NHS and regulatory bodies failed to spot the problems. The report is due to be published on Thursday but has been leaked to the Health Service Journal.

According to the HSJ, the trust’s then human resources director, Michelle Porteous, presented plans at a private session of the trust’s board in February for “significant staff reductions” in areas of care that were “already being highlighted as a cause for concern, partly as a result of staffing shortfalls”.

Kirkup’s panel remarks that: “There was no apparent recognition of the irony inherent in this being taken to the same board meeting that had earlier considered the implications of the [Robert] Francis Report into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust.”

Staff told the inquiry how the Liverpool trust’s human resources department was guilty of “appalling instances of staff treatment” by the trust’s human resources department and victimised and suspended personnel who raised concerns. A number of staff who did speak out “were harassed and, in some cases, subject to disciplinary action, including suspension”.

The report accuses the trust of not learning lessons from numerous episodes of poor care it provided. These included up to 19 deaths of inmates at HMP Liverpool; five patients having the wrong tooth extracted by trust dentists; patients on intermediate care wards suffering repeated falls and broken bones; other patients ending up with pressure ulcers, which are usually a sign that someone has not been looked after properly.

In one year, the trust set itself a target of saving 15% of its budget through efficiency gains, even though, the report says, savings of anything more than 4% in a year in the NHS are generally considered unrealistic.

NHS staff helped me survive losing my seven-year-old daughter to cancer

I work in the health service, but it was only when Rosie became ill that I felt the full impact of NHS compassion and professionalism

Woman sitting at a table in a cafeteria


‘We now live with an overwhelming level of pain but thanks to the NHS we continue to be cared for.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

My seven-year-old daughter, Rosie, was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer in December 2016 and admitted to hospital the same day. She and I remained in hospital for the following four-and-a-half months, during which time she underwent intense treatment.

My worst fear, the type that makes your stomach lurch and your body break out into a cold sweat, was that the treatment wouldn’t work and I would have to leave the hospital without Rosie. On 4 May last year, that fear became a reality: Rosie died and my world came crashing down around me. That day I watched my daughter take her last breath as my husband and I held her hands. My twin daughters, who never wanted to be apart, were separated forever – and I had to say goodbye to my little girl and leave her at the hospital and return home.

Home, however, had become the McElwain ward at the Royal Marsden, where I had spent every moment with Rosie. It felt so cruel, to be thrust together and go through so much, only to be separated forever. Finding yourself on a children’s cancer ward is every parent’s nightmare; we tell ourselves it only happens to other people or daren’t think about it at all, but for us the nightmare was real. In the midst of the darkness, however, we experienced amazing compassion, humanity and kindness from the NHS staff on the ward.


Rosie wasn’t just a cancer patient, she was a little girl who they befriended and cared for

On the day of our arrival, a nurse who could clearly sense my terror gave me a hug and told me that the Marsden was like a family that we would come to feel part of. Her words have stayed with me, because she was right.

The nurses, doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists and dieticians worked in collaboration with the children. Rosie wasn’t just a cancer patient, she was a little girl who they befriended and cared for. They gave medicine and increasing doses of pain relief to her as the cancer took hold of her body; they spent hours researching and liaising with international colleagues in order to deliver the best treatment available; they would continue to spend time with her, even after shifts had finished, to chat, to play board games, to tell jokes, or lend DVDs; and they held her hand or stroked her head during treatment.

The staff supported the family, too, spending time with Rosie’s twin when she was finding it increasingly distressing to see her sister so unwell, encouraging us to have precious time together with sleepovers, and being there for me on a daily basis.

My sole purpose became about getting Rosie through the day, through the next procedure, the next dose of chemotherapy and the horrendous side effects that accompany it.

At night, when Rosie was asleep, I had time to stop and think and the brave mask would slip. Sitting in the dark next to my precious and very poorly child I was confronted with my worst fears, but the staff were there for me. They sat with me while I cried, cried with me, hugged me, made me tea or distracted me with conversation. My husband would worry about me being alone at the hospital and I would reply: “but I’m not”.

The day Rosie died she was being looked after by two nurses whose professionalism and compassion was overwhelming. To them this was Rosie, the little girl they had befriended, who had indeed become part of the family. After she died, I helped the nurses to wash and dress Rosie one last time. We dressed her in her favourite onesie, and as we did so the nurses were so gentle and chatted to her as they always had done. In that moment, in which the world seemed broken and cruel, they demonstrated such humanity and kindness.

On 4 May we lost our little girl, our daughter lost her twin sister and best friend, and the grief and loss has reverberated in our wider family and community. We now live with an overwhelming level of pain, but thanks again to the NHS we continue to be cared for.

Our GP, who referred Rosie immediately to hospital for further tests, has continued to support us. My daughter and I also both see clinical psychologists through the NHS who have helped us to navigate a world that suddenly made no sense, and to process our grief and trauma. As an NHS clinical psychologist myself, I understand the impact of loss and trauma, but experiencing it has placed me on the other side. It turns out that tragedy doesn’t just happen to other people – and none of us know when we will be depending on the NHS to care for us or our loved ones.

If you would like to contribute to our Blood, sweat and tears series about experiences in healthcare, read our guidelines and get in touch by emailing sarah.johnson@theguardian.com.

Join the Healthcare Professionals Network to read more pieces like this. And follow us on Twitter (@GdnHealthcare) to keep up with the latest healthcare news and views.

If you’re looking for a healthcare job or need to recruit staff, visit Guardian Jobs.

Fears of Brexit drain as more EU27 ambulance staff quit the NHS

Increasing numbers of European Union-trained ambulance staff are quitting the NHS, raising fears of a Brexit drain from the 999 service just as concern over slow response times grows.

There are fears the departures could exacerbate high vacancy rates in ambulance services in England, which are already one of the most understaffed areas of NHS care.

Freedom of information requests submitted by the Liberal Democrats have revealed what the Lib Dems say is an “alarming” trend of resignations among ambulance staff trained in the other 27 EU countries.

The responses from England’s 10 ambulance service trusts show that 101 paramedics, call handlers and other staff from the rest of the EU left in 2016-17 – one in seven of the 688 EU27 personnel who were working for the trusts during that time.

Last year was the second in a row in which the number of leavers rose: 81 did so in 2015-16 and 78 quit in 2014-15.

“It is deeply concerning to see a rise in ambulance staff from the EU leaving the country. This is especially alarming when we are facing such a severe shortage of paramedics,” said Baroness Judith Jolly, who speaks for the Lib Dems on health.

“These EU citizens save lives in our communities every day, yet ministers have treated them like dirt and failed to give them certainty over their futures here,” Jolly added.

At the South Central Ambulance Service, 27 of its 143 EU27 staff quit – the most among the seven trusts that provided full figures. At South East Coast Ambulance Service, 20 EU nationals left – one in three of its cohort of 57 – while 18 of 152 did so at the London Ambulance Service, slightly fewer than the 21 who left the year before. The biggest increases in quitters were at the South Central (27, up from 17) and North West services (15, up from eight).

Danny Mortimer, co-convener of the Cavendish Coalition, a grouping of health and social care organisations that fear Brexit’s possible impact on the NHS and social care, said: “Any indication that the NHS is becoming less attractive as a place to work for paramedics and ambulance staff, from abroad or from the UK, is worrying.”

Mortimer added: “The certainty now being offered EU nationals is a massive step forward. The health and social care sector looks forward to government proposals for new migration systems which we hope will place greater weight on the contribution international recruits make to the health and wealth of our local communities.”

Fears of Brexit drain as more EU27 ambulance staff quit the NHS

Increasing numbers of European Union-trained ambulance staff are quitting the NHS, raising fears of a Brexit drain from the 999 service just as concern over slow response times grows.

There are fears the departures could exacerbate high vacancy rates in ambulance services in England, which are already one of the most understaffed areas of NHS care.

Freedom of information requests submitted by the Liberal Democrats have revealed what the Lib Dems say is an “alarming” trend of resignations among ambulance staff trained in the other 27 EU countries.

The responses from England’s 10 ambulance service trusts show that 101 paramedics, call handlers and other staff from the rest of the EU left in 2016-17 – one in seven of the 688 EU27 personnel who were working for the trusts during that time.

Last year was the second in a row in which the number of leavers rose: 81 did so in 2015-16 and 78 quit in 2014-15.

“It is deeply concerning to see a rise in ambulance staff from the EU leaving the country. This is especially alarming when we are facing such a severe shortage of paramedics,” said Baroness Judith Jolly, who speaks for the Lib Dems on health.

“These EU citizens save lives in our communities every day, yet ministers have treated them like dirt and failed to give them certainty over their futures here,” Jolly added.

At the South Central Ambulance Service, 27 of its 143 EU27 staff quit – the most among the seven trusts that provided full figures. At South East Coast Ambulance Service, 20 EU nationals left – one in three of its cohort of 57 – while 18 of 152 did so at the London Ambulance Service, slightly fewer than the 21 who left the year before. The biggest increases in quitters were at the South Central (27, up from 17) and North West services (15, up from eight).

Danny Mortimer, co-convener of the Cavendish Coalition, a grouping of health and social care organisations that fear Brexit’s possible impact on the NHS and social care, said: “Any indication that the NHS is becoming less attractive as a place to work for paramedics and ambulance staff, from abroad or from the UK, is worrying.”

Mortimer added: “The certainty now being offered EU nationals is a massive step forward. The health and social care sector looks forward to government proposals for new migration systems which we hope will place greater weight on the contribution international recruits make to the health and wealth of our local communities.”

Fears of Brexit drain as more EU27 ambulance staff quit the NHS

Increasing numbers of European Union-trained ambulance staff are quitting the NHS, raising fears of a Brexit drain from the 999 service just as concern over slow response times grows.

There are fears the departures could exacerbate high vacancy rates in ambulance services in England, which are already one of the most understaffed areas of NHS care.

Freedom of information requests submitted by the Liberal Democrats have revealed what the Lib Dems say is an “alarming” trend of resignations among ambulance staff trained in the other 27 EU countries.

The responses from England’s 10 ambulance service trusts show that 101 paramedics, call handlers and other staff from the rest of the EU left in 2016-17 – one in seven of the 688 EU27 personnel who were working for the trusts during that time.

Last year was the second in a row in which the number of leavers rose: 81 did so in 2015-16 and 78 quit in 2014-15.

“It is deeply concerning to see a rise in ambulance staff from the EU leaving the country. This is especially alarming when we are facing such a severe shortage of paramedics,” said Baroness Judith Jolly, who speaks for the Lib Dems on health.

“These EU citizens save lives in our communities every day, yet ministers have treated them like dirt and failed to give them certainty over their futures here,” Jolly added.

At the South Central Ambulance Service, 27 of its 143 EU27 staff quit – the most among the seven trusts that provided full figures. At South East Coast Ambulance Service, 20 EU nationals left – one in three of its cohort of 57 – while 18 of 152 did so at the London Ambulance Service, slightly fewer than the 21 who left the year before. The biggest increases in quitters were at the South Central (27, up from 17) and North West services (15, up from eight).

Danny Mortimer, co-convener of the Cavendish Coalition, a grouping of health and social care organisations that fear Brexit’s possible impact on the NHS and social care, said: “Any indication that the NHS is becoming less attractive as a place to work for paramedics and ambulance staff, from abroad or from the UK, is worrying.”

Mortimer added: “The certainty now being offered EU nationals is a massive step forward. The health and social care sector looks forward to government proposals for new migration systems which we hope will place greater weight on the contribution international recruits make to the health and wealth of our local communities.”

The price of driving down care home costs? Staff who quit after a few weeks | Michele Hanson

My friend Mavis just applied for a job in a care home for the elderly. Marvellous, I thought. She is bound to get it. She is perfect for the job: personable, bright, forthright, cheery, hard-working, her social skills are top-notch, and we are desperate for care workers.

Off she went for her interview, told the fellow all about her life and past experience, including running two successful employment agencies, and when he’d heard all that, he started asking questions: “When you felt under pressure, what did you do about it? What are your strong points and weaknesses?”

“Are you seriously asking me these questions?” said Mavis.

“Well they’re on my sheet,” he said. “I’ve got to ask, so what are your answers?” Mavis had a stab at them, but knew she’d blown it. She asked a few questions herself and found out that his average staff turnover was four weeks. Yes. Four weeks. And the business was a franchise. You put in a bid, as low as you can because the cheapest usually wins, then you pay your staff flumpence to look after vulnerable and often weak, poorly people who need intense care and therefore a care worker with physical strength, great patience, kindness, empathy and time to talk with them. No wonder staff only last a few weeks.

This is the trouble with making money out of the sick, feeble and helpless. It’s frightfully difficult to make much profit without treating them, and their care workers, like rubbish, unless you charge private residents an arm and a leg to make up for the peanuts you’re getting for the state-funded residents. Or unless you’re part of a chain owned by private equities – as long as it doesn’t get into too much debt with its owners, who may pull out if they aren’t trousering enough profit for their rich investors; then your whole chain goes down the pan and the elderly residents are out on their ears. Then what?

The councils will have to mop up the mess. Perhaps they could take the care homes back in-house again. And have them adequately funded and staffed. Wouldn’t that be lovely? My dream for 2018.