According to a highly critical report by the Care Quality Commission, the UK’s biggest mental health NHS trust, which consists of units that care for the most vulnerable female patients is in turmoil following major allegations of bullying. This announcement was accompanied with the sudden resignation of its chairman.
Nigel McCorkell, chairman of West London Mental Health NHS Trust, unexpectedly resigned two years before the end of his term. Mr McCorkell, a chartered accountant, was reappointed for a second fixed four-year term in January 2013. However following news of bullying allegations, he recently announced his retirement.
Mr McCorkell told staff he was stepping down because his term was due to end before the trust could achieve the “significant milestone” of achieving foundation status. He said: “As a result, I have decided the best course of action is to retire now and make way for a new chair to see the trust through this critical next phase of its development.
The announcement came after the CQC health watchdog criticised the trust for receiving over 124 complaints were made between August 2013 and July 2014. This high volume of complaints moved the trust into an ‘elevated risk’ category.
The watchdog placed six further aspects of its work as at risk, including deaths of patients detained under the Mental Health Act, fairness and effectiveness of incident reporting procedures, food and facilities. There were 49 categories where “no evidence of risk” was found. In addition to this, the trust has the highest percentage (30%) of staff reporting to have experienced abuse, violence or harassment from colleagues and patients.