GMB, the union for staff at the DGH and Conquest hospitals, said it had no doubt the CQC report would finally highlight poor leadership and says a change at the top is needed.
Responding to the report, regional organiser Gary Palmer said, “GMB had no doubt the CQC findings would finally highlight poor leadership an communication and lack of engagement with both staff and the public in its damning report.
“The report makes clear that staff feel disengaged and undervalued and have had to work in a culture where they have been made to feel afraid to speak out or to share their concerns.
“It also mentions the unilaterally imposed reconfigurations had led to services deteriorating and had left them unable to respond to the needs of those using the service.
“GMB and staff at the trust have always stated it was vital for the right leadership to be in place and our criticism of the direction taken by the leadership has been vindicated.
“Darren Grayson hired a turnaround director at a cost of more than £500,000, who then spent hundreds of thousands of pounds more bringing in further so called experts, to forcefully redeploy staff, close, mothball or relocate wards and reconfigure services between the hospitals and community.
“They have only managed to deliver inadequate outcomes condemned by the CQC inspection in September 2014. They have let down staff working in the trust, together with the patients and public of the south east. Something has to change.
“GMB members have told us the report and outcomes suggests to them that possibly a change at the top is needed as all the enforced changes by the expensive experts elsewhere within the trust have not improved things at all, but in fact simply increased the failures.
“The engagement of GMB members and staff who work in both the hospitals and community services at the trust is required as they have the knowledge and expertise to turn this around.
“GMB members are huge supporters of a properly functioning and efficient NHS. We are only too keen to help if someone at the top has the foresight to appropriately ask us for assistance.
“If the trust engage with us openly and meaningfully it is GMB members and staff who will improve, not only the service provision at the trust to a point of gaining a better CQC rating, but also to make efficiency savings without seeing services or patients safety put at risk and without having to see the need to cut the terms and conditions for members of staff at the trust to save money.”
The GMB also said any rebuilding of the relationship with staff needs to be grounded in openness and to develop a culture where people feel free to speak out, the trust undertakes a review across the organisation to address perceptions of a bullying culture, and to improve relationships with all stakeholders and the population it serves, specifically in relation to their concerns about service reconfiguration and a review of staffing levels is required to ensure they are sufficient for service provision within the trust.