GMB seek clarification on scope of SWAST cultural review
GMB seek clarification from the South West Ambulance Service that the cultural review of the trust will include organisational bullying and harassment and management failings.
GMB members would love to see a cultural review which enables them to finally feel that their employer respects, values, cares about and rewards everything they do for the Trust, says GMB Southern
GMB, the union for ambulance staff, has written a letter to the Chief Executive of the South West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SWAST), Ken Wenman, seeking clarification of the scope of the cultural review commissioned by Mr Wenman to appraise prevailing cultures within the Trust. [See notes to editors for copy of GMB’s letter to Ken Wenman]
GMB have called for the review to include organisational bullying and harassment, poor management practices, along with the effects restrictive annual leave practices, rota implementation and chronic under resourcing have upon sickness levels and overall morale.
The review has been commissioned for Professor Duncan Lewis who only last year concluded and delivered a revealing and damning report into cultural issues at South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust (SECAmb).
Gary Palmer GMB Regional Organiser said:
“Although welcomed by GMB, the review does raise concerns that the current scope will simply gloss over the issues currently being experienced by GMB members and staff within the Trust.
“This move by SWAST has the real possibility of being a great opportunity for the organisation to re-build some sort of trust with staff; but to do that it must be about things that staff see as an issue, and not just what the Trust want to appear to be concerned about if they really want to culturally and physically improve staff conditions.
“I do personally think it’s too late for the Chief Exec to turn it around though in regard to the part he has generally played in the past by ignoring the calls for help from those that have given most to the service and yet receive least in return. Change in approach and leadership together might be required to bring about a move to seeing improvements at the Trust.
“What is clear is that SWAST will benefit hugely from Professor Lewis’s involvement just like South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust did if they open and extend the scope of any review to include many things to date they as an employer have simply ignored and basically claimed are just out of their control, and allow open confidential access to all staff.
“I can assure the Trust that our members would love to see a cultural review which enables them to finally feel that their employer respects, values, cares about and rewards everything they do for the Trust and service as a whole, but probably they are more likely to see further smoke and mirrors, to maintain an out-dated management approach rather than a clear path to improvement and positive future for all, but you never know.”
Contact: Gary Palmer 07552 165 950 or GMB Press Contact 07970 114 762
Notes to Editors
1] GMB letter to South West Ambulance Service NHS Trust Chief Executive Ken Wenman (12 Jan 2018)
Dear Mr Wenman,
I just wanted to write to you on behalf of the GMB Union to request full clarification that the scope of any investigation and review by Professor Duncan Lewis ensures that organisational bullying and harassment, poor management practices, along with the affects restrictive annual leave practices, rota implementation and chronic under resourcing have and continue to have upon the Trust’s extremely stressed and stretched workforce, will be included in the independent cultural review announced in your weekly bulletin?
The reason we the GMB union ask are in regard to assurances about any review being both full and open in subject matter and access as previous such reviews by Professor Lewis in other NHS Trust’s has brought about significant changes / improvements in those workplaces, when the Trust has fully and openly assisted him by both allowing the review to be about things they as the employer might not want looked into, and guaranteed that they will act fully upon the report and recommendations, and not only the subject matter they as employer find palatable to avoid being labelled as simply putting up a smoke screen to avoid tackling the real issues going on in the workplace.
We are of course pleased of the appointment of Professor Lewis, as in light of the report outcome and subsequent cultural, management and organisational staff changes at SECAmb, staff’s working experiences have I believe improved directly as a result of the review he carried out and subsequent issues highlighted. Hopefully this one if open and comprehensive and acted upon will do the same.
So if a chance for change is really on the agenda with the commissioning by SWAST in partnership with Unison of Professor Lewis this review mustn’t be restricted to a mere surface look at prevailing cultures and how it informs job satisfaction, team and interpersonal interactions and communications and how you work as a whole, but delve openly into the reasons so many of your staff and our members feel so disillusioned and dissatisfied with the Trust ‘s current approach and leadership reaction to their concerns.
GMB Regional NHS Campaign Organiser