by Tim Lezard The GMB has called on an health managers to halt a witch hunt against staff who blew the whistle on the effects of job cuts on patients. The union says bosses at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT)) are attempting to find out the name …

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The GMB has called on an health managers to halt a witch hunt against staff who blew the whistle on the effects of job cuts on patients.

The union says bosses at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT)) are attempting to find out the names of members of staff who spoke to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) during a recent visit.

GMB organiser Gary Palmer said: “Worried staff contacted GMB over what appears to be a witch hunt by Chief Executive Darren Grayson and his management team on this.

“The Chief Executive has requested his Commercial Services Deputy Director to get his managers to press staff for the names of those who spoke up for staff and patients to the CQC privately. He wants the names of staff not afraid to try and protect services by openly talking of their concerns to CQC.

“It appears that he thinks they spoke incorrectly to the CQC when they chose to talk openly and honestly to inspectors about their opinions of the issues and failings of the Trust and the effects for both staff and patients that management cuts, redeployments and closures are having and will continue to have upon hospital services within Eastbourne.

“Staff were told that they could not attend the initial public listening event in Eastbourne by the Trust. Some of the staff, who rightfully refused that instruction, decided that as residents and users of the hospital services that they did have the right to attend, only then to be disgracefully prevented from attending on the night and being turned away at the door.

“For others such was the concern about being able to freely speak to inspectors without Trust interference that the CQC decided to put on a further event in Eastbourne at the Grand Hotel for staff to be able to come along and talk to them out of the workplace and in confidence.

“I fully expect the CQC report to confirm that even despite the Trusts management incompetence, underfunding, lack of resources, and rising workloads that in fact frontline healthcare professional and support teams are delivering excellent over all patient services, in a professional and caring way.

“Managers should call off hunt for names and tackle the culture of bullying within the Trust that has been brought about by a poor management, lack of communication and respect and a requirement to remove finances from the Trust as soon as possible.

“GMB members believe this retaliatory approach by managers is because, rather than following the Trust edict to stay within a prepared brief on how and what to say to inspectors should they be asked a question, they opted to raise real and legitimate concerns in an effort to protect all they value within the Trust and the NHS.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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