Review of collective grievance made by consultants against executive management

Review of collective grievance made by consultants against executive management

The client

A community trust, Healthcare sector


Whistleblowing and Professional Conduct.

The consultants in a South of England community trust raised a collective grievance about the executive management team. The consultants expressed a lack of confidence in the trust’s executive management team and a disconnection from it. The PCT and SHA with the active support of the trust, commissioned an independent review to examine issues raised, identify any systemic difficulties and make appropriate recommendations.


Verita carried out 34 formal interviews with individuals to identify difficulties and weaknesses within current systems.


Our review team carried out 34 formal interviews with individuals, two group interviews and other discussions to clarify details and an examination of all available relevant documentation. The Verita team included managing director Ed Marsden and former partner Derek Mechen and Dr Graham Lockerbie, then medical director for NHS England.


The review team found that there was substance to the collective grievance, concluding that the situation had come about as a result of two failed trust restructures, a lack of consistent clinical and medical leadership and a failure by the trust executive management team to deliver on commitments. They found that there had been a breakdown in communication between the consultants and the executive management team which had led to a ‘them and us’ mentality.


Recommendations included bolstering medical leadership in the trust, involving the consultants and other clinical staff in the creation of a clinical strategy and having meaningful mediated discussions with the consultants.


After the report was submitted the trust produced an action plan based on Verita’s report recommendations. Verita helped mediate meetings between the trust management and consultants in order to reach a resolution. Within six months the collective grievance was withdrawn.