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Trust removes ward manager after CQC spot check

Heart of England Foundation Trust has replaced a ward manager following a negative Care Quality Commission inspection.

Trust chief executive Mark Newbold revealed in a personal blog on 26 November that the regulator had visited two wards in one of its hospitals.

The full report will not be published until late December or early January, but he said informal feedback suggested one ward was not compliant” with CQC standards on “dignity and respect”. “What might be termed attitudes and behaviour were not respectful”, he said.

Mr Newbold said his senior nursing team, led by chief nurse Mandie Sunderland, was “devastated” by the news after the progress the trust had been making on improving overall nursing standards. 

Earlier the month the trust awarded badges to the first 100 of its nurses to have achieved full marks in its new VITAL (Virtual Interactive Teaching and Learning) training assessment scheme.

Mr Newbold said: “This ward was on the radar of our head nurse…. whilst patients were clearly being nursed competently, the atmosphere just didn’t feel right.”

He added that although it was an acute medical ward with staff trained for “short-stay, high-turnover, less-complex patients”, it now mostly dealt with longer-stay, frail older patients.

As a result of the CQC feedback, Mr Newbold said the ward’s leadership had been changed and he hoped improvements would be “tangible” before the CQC issued its full report.

“We would prefer to have sorted the issues ourselves, and we would have done had their visit not come when it did. But they did, and credit where it is due – they were right,” he said.

Readers' comments (19)

  • good, there are some dreadful ward managers around - rude, lazy, bossy, un-caring. it's about time they were booted out, the days of promoting people sideways should be well and truly over.

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 12-Dec-2012 10:18 am

    I second that emotion.

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  • Shame the Trust did not take action themselves rather than waiting for the CQC to do their jobs for them !!!!!!!

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  • I remember when I took a WM to disciplinary hearing. I was successful in having her removed. Then she was promoted! Holy F***! This women was one of the most deranged people I've ever met. But she got a cushy job, and a higher salary.

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  • tinkerbell

    Tipperary Tim | 12-Dec-2012 12:05 pm
    well it was on their 'radar'. Heaven help us all.

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  • A ward manager carries can for incompetence of higher management-thats what it sounds like.
    the ward not trained to appropriate standards probably due to changing their patient care group from the sounds of it, bet the ward short staffed etc,and im sure he ward manager will have raised concerns previously and been ignored.
    Hope shes getting support,what was the matron of this area doing?wonderif they also have been removed

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  • Are us whistleblowers finaly going to be seeing justice.

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  • useless ward managers should be removed asap, some think they are there to shout at staff, shout at patients, get everyone doing their dirty work. hopefully this puts out a message that it will no longer be tolerated.

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  • Are we sure that the Ward Manager was at fault here? There aren't enough facts to make a judgement as to who was at fault, or even what the issues were that led to this removal from post. If the WM was the cause of the problem, why did it take an external inspection before action was taken? How can we be sure that the WM wasn't made a scapegoat by higher management? It may well be totally appropriate and justified to remove the WM. Might be best to wait for the report.

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  • Mags, I have to agree with your view. I have seen more staff used as scapegoats than I have poor WMs. Having said that the latter do exist, but surely if that was the case then the Trust should have sorted out the issue(s) sooner and effectively.

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  • I wish the CQC would do a spot check on NHSD... but I don't suppose they will.

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  • I wasn't aware that the cqc had the power to remove nurses, I will read the report with interest because I'd like to know what she did, what steps had been taken to improve things and why the cqc were involved.

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  • Anonymous | 13-Dec-2012 6:35 pm

    The Ward Manager was removed by the Heart of England Foundation Trust, not the CQC. But you are right. The report will be interesting.

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  • It easier to have a name person to carry the blame. Unfortunately the wm in this case was responsible!!!!Where was the matron?

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  • Florence

    Good Leadership is essential. In fact it shapes the culture of the team. And therefore the standard of care given. Obviously we cannot have Ward Managers who are unable to do fulfill the role.And while that isn't acceptable and must be dealt with. We have to ask why it happens.Ok I realise some of the answers are pretty much common sense. And where there must have been issues on the ward inspected in the article I agree we have to reserve judgement for the report.
    However I agree with the point made by others here. Where was the Matron ?
    I recall working in a Trust where a Ward Manager was unable to fullfill her role properly. Our Matron at the time ignored the issue for a couple of years.After some serious complaints about the ward eventually the CQC did a couple of ''spot check '' visits. The Ward Manager was removed and the Matron was moved sideways. Clearly there were problems with the Ward Manager.
    However again where was the Matron ? And I agree with Mags comment about why did it take an external agency to finally take action needed ?
    I knew the Nurse who was removed very well and perhaps yes she had been over- promoted but she recieved NO support in her role.
    She grew tired of raising issues and problems.She was clearly struggling in her role and did seek help but recieved none.
    I remember not long before this Ward Manager was removed and the Matron moved sideways I was working in a clinic within our Department for Older people.
    My Band 6 Manager took an extended period of time of due to family bereavement and illness during this time.The same Matron for the area was my next line manager in the absence of our Band 6 Sister.
    The Matron was informed that my Manager would be off for several weeks by myself and my Manager.
    I needed her authorisation for Temporary staff to cover the Registered Nurse role my Manager fulfilled on the days she did clinical work. I also had a HCA on sick leave and a receptionist too.
    I also needed her to authorise our weekly stores order and '' sign it off''.
    I knew the job well and was happy to triage appointments, fulfill the clinical role and deal with the basic day to day running of the department.
    However the Matron completley ignored my calls and E-Mails. To this day she has never acknowledged that I ran the clinic by myself for a couple of months.
    I accept that my job description at the time did involve taking charge of the clinic for short periods of time in my Managers abscence. I was happy to do it and more than capable but our Matron completley ignored the issue altogether.
    We had a business Manager who had fragmented responsibilites attatched to our Clinic. Although she was on leave when my Manager initially went off sick I recieved more support from her eventually than I ever did from our Matron. The Ward Manager for the Orthogeriatric ward we work closely with eventually gave me authorisation for Temporary Staff and for our stores orders.
    If I'm going to be completley fair here I do have to say that our Matrons cover quite a large area and are often hindered by their Managers in doing their jobs properly too.





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  • What are you playing at Tinkerbell Rudolph?

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 14-Dec-2012 6:12 pm

    Just a bit of christmas cheer amongst all the misery:) Maybe the last merry christmas we will have with this band of thieves.

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  • Rudolph | 14-Dec-2012 7:54 pm

    poor soul!

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  • Employing ward managers and senior staff by the back door or even selecting senior staff during interviews, depending who the interviewers in the panel, had been a culture in the NHS since I ever known. And I been nursing for the last 46 years. Good nurses are overlooked for promotion. It all depends who you know higher up. I am retired now , but I still work in the Bank nursing.I still come across newly qualified nurses and students and the quality of their work or experience are to be desired. The newly qualified lacks the basic. The quality of their works reflect on the senior members of staff. It is alright for Mr Newbold saying that they would have preferred to sort the issue by themselves, but I wonder.

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