Search

‘Weak leadership’ to blame for low staff morale, says new chairman of Whittington Hospital

14:12 10 March 2014

Whittington Hospital chairman Steve Hitchins

Whittington Hospital chairman Steve Hitchins

Archant

Doctors and nurses working at the Whittington Hospital are suffering “dips in morale” and “unsustainable” workloads, according to the new chairman of the hospital.

Steve Hitchins, a former leader of Islington Council who began his new role in December, admitted “weak leadership” combined with the push to reach government targets was causing staff to become “fed up”.

Complaints

Speaking at a meeting organised by the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition (DWHC) and held last week at St Mary’s Church in Dartmouth Park Road, Mr Hitchins said the current situation “could not continue”.

“We’ve got some really bad results on our complaints service – and that’s because our staff are under an awful lot of pressure,” he said.

“We spend an enormous amount of effort to reach our targets and the staff are working exceptionally hard to achieve that. That isn’t sustainable.

“We’ve seen some dips in morale showing that people are fed up because they’re working over and above the call of duty.

“That culture is reflected in complaints and, probably, a weak leadership which needs reinforcing and building up again.”

Concerns put to Mr Hitchins by members of the audience included the £15million worth of cuts “threatening” the hospital and the “damaged trust” with the community since proposals to sell off hospital buildings prompted mass protests last year.

The chairman – who described himself as “a local lad” and an “NHS patient of 42 years” – admitted hospital bosses needed to rebuild a relationship that it “nearly destroyed” and said he wanted to end the “Putin-esque” stand-off between the hospital and campaigners.

“A number of people in the hospital stopped listening to the community,” he said. “That must never happen again – we upset all of you unnecessarily over a year ago.

“Now people are concerned about changes in staffing and, yes, we’ve got to make some savings.

“It’s a time of economic constraint and the NHS has been protected more than most other public services.

“We’ve had to make modest savings. They’re challenging but they’re not going to change the way the hospital operates.

“I don’t anticipate any forced staff redundancies.”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 20:15

A group including MP Kier Starmer’s wife Victoria set off this morning from Kentish Town tube station to join thousands on a solidarity march through London in the wake of the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

Fri, 17:31

A Henrietta Barnett consultation has sparked debate on whether the famous grammar school should give priority to Hampstead Garden Suburb pupils

Fri, 17:29

A Camden police officer has been sacked for dishonesty.

Fri, 15:52

Emergency services have rescued a woman trapped under a Porsche after it crashed into a cafe in West End Lane in West Hampstead.

Thu, 18:06

Virginia McKenna, actress and founder of the Born Free wildlife charity, is the latest to sign a 4,500-strong petition to create a haven for swans on the island on Hampstead Heath’s model boating pond.

Thu, 15:13

Camden Council’s leader has said the prime minister’s commitment to removing the UK from the EU’s single market is “deeply concerning” – and pledged to push for the “greatest possible access”.

Thu, 12:48

A plan to resurrect the Old White Bear pub in Hampstead by sharing its upper floors with a school has been given the go-ahead.

Thu, 11:47

Work will begin to replace gas mains in Gospel Oak after a public outcry forced its delay last year.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now