GMB ask if NHS Isle of Wight chief exec was misleading or misled over bullying and harassment claims
GMB seek meeting with NHS Isle of Wight Chief Exec to ensure trust is in full support of GMB anti-bullying initiative. “When addressing such a sensitive matter as bullying and harassment we would simply expect that the chief executive would be in full possession of the facts”, says GMB Southern
GMB have sought a meeting with NHS Isle of Wight chief executive Maggie Oldham to seek assurances of the trusts support in an upcoming ‘GMB Anti Bullying Initiative’ following recent comments regarding bullying and harassment at St. Mary’s Hospital, at a recent NHS Trust Board meeting.
Maggie Oldham’s comments followed last year’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection, which cited accusations of bullying by senior managers among its criticisms, and plunged the trust into special measures, including bringing in anti-bullying advisors.
GMB support such actions and welcome the various mechanisms to address the matter however must ask whether the HR department are aware of or indeed supportive of such strong sentiment from its own chief exec, with some outstanding grievances being logged as long ago as last November.
Maggie Oldham, NHS Isle of Wight Chief Executive, said at a NHS Trust Board meeting: "We continue to hear the trust has a culture of bullying. I’m told by some that bullying doesn’t exist in our trust and I’m told by others it’s rife.
"Whether it’s one person, or 100 people it’s not going to be tolerated.
"Since that inspection, the trust has brought in anti-bullying advisors, freedom to speak up champions and a freedom to speak up guardians to tackle the problem."
Adrian Baker, GMB Regional Organiser said: "At present, both the director of HR and also the ambulance operational manager are fully aware of grievances outstanding with some stretching back as long ago as last November being specific to bullying and harassment. This tends to make Maggie Oldham’s words ring a little hollow and must leave the trust looking red faced to say the least.
"When addressing such a sensitive matter as bullying and harassment we would simply expect that the chief exec would be in full possession of the facts. When trying to reassure her staff and board on such matters, we ask whether she has herself been misled, whether she was simply unaware or was she misleading those both under her care and who she is answerable to.
"Following a recent meeting as St. Mary’s a senior manager stated ‘It is a breath of fresh air to have GMB look at what we have done previously and to be able to listen to its views and proposals going forward and we look forward to your constructive input’ however ominously the senior manager went on to say ‘Please don’t tell anyone that I told you that’.
"GMB will be seeking a meeting with Maggie Oldham to seek assurances of the trusts support in an upcoming "GMB Anti Bullying Initiative" at St. Mary’s and ask that she conduct an immediate audit of any outstanding matters to see if time frames are in line with the organisations own policies.
"GMB ask that where policies have been breached she should ensure that action is taken in respect of those culpable within the trust management if it is found that they have not met the high standards expected by the board, the public and most importantly the staff."
Contact: Adrian Baker 07841 071849 or firstname.lastname@example.org or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114 762