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  1. ITV Report

Staff at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital feel 'belittled and humiliated' say inspectors

Staff described a 'culture of poor behaviour from team leaders which belittled and humiliated junior staff.' Photo: ITV News

Some junior workers at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital feel 'belittled and humiliated' by senior staff, according to a new report.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust is not making enough progress in addressing issues with storing medicines and meeting diagnostic targets.

Last year the trust was issued with two 'warning notices' by the CQC, requiring urgent action.

The inspection report said the trust has not made enough progress Credit: ITV News

It is disappointing to report that since our original inspection, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust has not made enough progress to satisfy our warning notices. Although we have seen real improvements in pharmacy, we have made it clear that we require further work to address the issues we had found in diagnostic services.

– Dr Nigel Acheson, CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals in the south

The inspectors say they were told that some workers, in the diagnostic and imaging teams, described a 'culture of poor behaviour from team leaders which belittled and humiliated junior staff.'

The trust says staff have been working really hard to improve Credit: ITV News

Progress has been made in addressing concerns within the pharmacy areas, where staff had previously been overstretched.

Trust bosses admitted they had not allocated enough resources to meet the requirements of the warning notice on the pharmacy services.

Inspectors found there was improving performance for patients waiting longer than six weeks for a routine scan, and an improved management of processes within the imaging department.

But some consultants said the workload had not reduced and most reported working harder than at the time of the last inspection.

Staff in both pharmacy and diagnostic imaging have been working really hard to make the required improvements and it is good to see the inspectors recognised the progress that has been made, particularly in pharmacy. Some of the changes needed relate to capacity and culture and these take time, because they depend on recruiting new staff, implementing new ways of working and changing attitudes and behaviours. We will continue to work on these things until we can demonstrate that the concerns around diagnostic imaging no longer apply. On a positive note, it has been very pleasing to see that since the inspection in December, the Trust has made a significant and sustained improvement in performance against the seven-day internal target.

– Ann James, chief executive, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust