David Scott

Will the NHS ever crack its bullying and harassment problem?

Back in 2019, a study estimated that the cost of bullying and harassment to NHS England is around £2.3 billion per annum. This staggering cost is deemed to be the aggregate of costs to employers of: increased staff sickness, employee turnover, reduced productivity, compensation, litigation and more difficult industrial relations. The effects on the NHS …

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Patient safety training ready to take off after HSIB launch

Effective crisis management planning

“Lessons will be learned” How many times have we read those words, usually at the end of an investigation or an inquiry into a crisis? Learning lessons from the management of a crisis is, however, crucial for organisations, particularly those that are responsible for managing the care of sick or vulnerable people. Most organisations will, …

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Who’d be Sue Gray?

In the week that the findings of Sue Gray’s investigation are expected to be announced, what have we learned about the investigative process she is managing?   First of all, it’s important to remember that this is an internal investigation, and that it is not truly independent of the Government. As the lead investigator Sue Gray has been given a straightforward remit; to conduct “Investigations into staff …

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How to manage the impact of whistleblowing investigations

  Are workplace ‘speak-up’ schemes effective? Ensuring the correct processes are in place on reporting concerns and that they are known to staff may help avoid whistleblowing investigations. The story may, so far, have escaped media attention across the whole of the UK, but in Scotland news has emerged of the final stages of a …

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Can a governance review make a drama out of a crisis?

We may never learn what has really gone on at LAMDA, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, other than a review of its governance. But there has certainly been some drama along the way, with the Principal resigning recently in the wake of multiple allegations about her management style, the way in which …

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What does the National Covid Inquiry need to be effective?

In May 2021, the Prime Minister committed to a public inquiry into the handling of the Covid pandemic, starting “in the spring of next year”. This has prompted a number of people and interest groups to clamour for an earlier start. In setting up the inquiry, the PM will have to make some early decisions …

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Tales from the Jockey Club – the impact of improper investigations

In 2020, the chief executive of the Jockey Club resigned after an independent inquiry confirmed allegations against her of bullying, racist comments and the circulation of offensive material. In normal circumstances that might have been the end of the matter for the Jockey Club. However, the Daily Telegraph has reported that some of the Jockey …

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Planning for organisational culture change or sleepwalking into the unknown?

It is difficult to know how to react to the diversity review recently published by the Royal College of Surgeons.  The review, which was carried out by Helena Kennedy QC, found that the College needs organisational culture change – a “radical shake-up” and that its plan for diversity is “next to non-existent”. The report gives …

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The truth behind investigation backlogs

An interview with Chris Brougham During the Coronavirus pandemic frontline care and services have rightly taken priority. Organisations have focused on patient care and less on the day to day governance tasks such as patient safety incident investigations. Now that infection rates are dropping, services have started to turn their focus back to the back-office …

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Safeguarding & whistle-blowing – Haiti style

In July 2011 a whistle-blower sent written allegations to Oxfam’s GB leadership. Following the earthquake in Haiti, the charity was significantly engaged in humanitarian emergency relief work, with some 550 staff in the country. The allegations were principally that Oxfam staff had been having sex with prostitutes, some of whom may have been minors, including …

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What does poor employee engagement mean for the HR department?

In a Twitter poll carried out last week on employee engagement in HR, we asked our followers if they felt supported by their HR function during organisational change. In a record response for a Verita poll nearly 2,000 people voted. And, extraordinarily, 61% of respondents told us that they did not feel supported by their …

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Understanding the behaviour behind bullying and harassment is crucial

Bullying and harassment at work? …It’s all about the culture

Workplace bullying and harassment Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, in 1789, that “in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  Had Benjamin been working in human resources in 2019, I am sure he would have added “persistent bullying and harassment at work” to this famous saying.  It seems …

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