The cardiac unit at the St George’s Hospitals in London will be enlisting the help of an independent panel of experts to help implement a number of changes which were recommended in a report which referred to a ‘dark force’ consuming the hospital.
The report, carried out by a former deputy medical director of NSH England, involved interviews being carried out with staff at the Trust, and the language used to describe the atmosphere at the hospital is shocking: stifling development, toxic atmosphere, vindictive attitudes, indolent state, defensive approaches, tribal behaviours, dysfunctional team.
The cardiac surgery team appears to be at the heart of the problem. Surgeons have been suspended, and have been reinstated to work. Management is under heavy fire, and have requested help from NHS Improvement, who in turn have set up the independent panel of doctors, managers and human resources professionals.
While the dangers of a toxic working environment need no explaining, the possible wider effect of the toxicity is more significant: the cardiac unit’s death rate is double the national average. The Trust have stated that the cardiac unit is safe, whilst acknowledging that urgent action and significant improvements are needed.
Joseph Norton, Head of Compensation