26 July 2012
Review prompts tough new action plan by AWP
A review of governance and management arrangements at Avon and
Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is published
today. The report was commissioned by NHS South of England
following concerns raised by reports into two mental health
While noting some positive innovations at the Trust the report
also contains some serious criticisms including:
- A lack of clinical engagement
- Top down decision making
- Slow incident reporting to the National Patient Safety
- Performance management style
- Little evidence of constructive internal dialogue
- Concerns over some aspects of safety
Overall the report notes a Trust culture that was "centralist,
top down, and target driven, bureaucratic and controlling".
It says, "There is an urgent need to change the culture and
leadership from one of central control to one in which all staff
are positively engaged in determining and delivering safe, high
The report was completed earlier this year and it is a matter of
public record that since its completion the Trust's former chairman
has resigned and the Trust's former chief executive has
retired. The Trust now has a new chairman, Mr Tony Gallagher,
and has begun the process of recruiting a new chief
The Trust has acted swiftly to address the issues raised in the
report by developing a comprehensive action plan (Fit for the
Future) which is also published today. The action plan sets
out how the Trust will improve to better meet the needs of
patients. It includes a commitment to strengthening the
involvement of clinicians in management decision making and as a
first step in doing this the Trust's professional council is being
strengthened to help provide a stronger clinical voice.
The action plan also sets out actions to:
- Decentralise management and increase local service
- Establish a clinical engagement strategy which covers quality
- Improve service user and carer involvement in strategic
- Improve staff engagement and morale
- Improve care planning through sharing of best practice
- Increase Board scrutiny, including recruitment of a clinician
as a non-executive director
- Restructure executive functions to ensure effectiveness
The new chairman, Mr Tony Gallagher said, "I welcome the
publication of this report and I would like to make it clear that
the Trust board accepts the report and its recommendations.
There are some very important lessons here and I am determined that
we will learn them.
"I am determined too that we should create a new, less centralised
leadership model that is strongly informed by the needs of our
local communities and our service commissioners. We will put
service users and carers at the heart of everything we do.
"I want the Trust to be more responsive in dealings with all our
stakeholders and thoroughly committed to openness and
transparency. Our overarching objective will be to radically
improve outcomes for service users and to improve our staff's
ability to make a real difference."
Monthly updates to Fit for the Future will be found in the Trust Board
Publications area from August 2012.