“We take bullying very seriously” - a Q&A with new N&N hospital chief Mark Davies

The interim Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital CEO Mark Davies, speaking at the hospital AGM. P

The interim Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital CEO Mark Davies, speaking at the hospital AGM. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

The new N&N trust interim chief executive talks to the EDP and Evening News about his plans to deal with the current issues facing the organisation.

He has taken over a hospital trust under pressure due to missed targets, allegations of bullying, and a vital health watchdog inspection in November, but new Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust interim chief executive Mark Davies says he is happy to be working at a 'wonderful hospital in a wonderful area'.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is inspecting the trust in November. How confident are you the trust will get a good rating?

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'We're not over confident or complacent. The inspections are very in-depth. All staff are preparing hard and we are looking forward to the CQC coming so we can show them the facilities.'

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How prepared is the trust for winter when demand further increases?

'We're planning hard for winter. We're looking at how we can move things around to create more bed-space. We're also looking at the staffing levels and how we can improve the discharge of our patients, and we discuss that with clinical commissioning groups and social care. We have to get the flows right and we're looking across the whole system.'

What has the management done in response to the allegations of bullying?

'We have taken this very seriously.

'There are three things. I invite staff to a meeting every month where they can talk to me about their issues.

'There have been around 100 staff come to the meetings so far and they range from cleaners to consultants. We have very open discussions there. Secondly I send a personal email every month to every staff member where I write about what has been raised at the meeting, and thirdly we invite the staff to contribute to the changes and transformations that the trust undergoes. It's going to take a while to change.'

How difficult is it to operate financially when the hospital also has to pay off its PFI debt?

'Without the PFI deal this hospital would never have been built. I think the positives of having the hospital and all it provides outweighs the negative aspects of the deal.'

What do you think you bring to the trust?

'This is my eighth hospital trust and I have previously worked at hospitals which have been under lots of pressure. I have also worked at Monitor so I understand regulation and the CQC.

How much pressure is the trust under from Monitor and the CQC?

'They want a turn-around to happen very quickly but they are reasonable.

'If you put a reasonable case to them (ie a plan) – and they are assured we are tackling the issue – then they are generally reasonable.'

How long will you lead the trust?

'That's a matter for the chairman.'

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