Professor David Hands, Suicides, Bullying and a Mental Health Trust

David Hands is a visiting Professor in Health Policy and Management in the University of Glamorgan who has repeatedly tried, since 2006, to get a proper independent investigation of allegations of institutionalised bullying at Northamptonshire Healthcare specialist mental health trust. Hands was  interim Chief Executive in 1991/2 and 1996/7 and was a  Governor of the current Foundation Trust until 2009. He has reported his concerns in detail to the Trust, Sir David Nicholson, East Midlands Strategic Health Authority, the CQC, Monitor and Andrew Lansley.

In January 2007, Nicholson asked the SHA to establish a ʻreviewʼ to consider some of the issues Hands had identified. It was chaired by Chris Hannah, a former SHA Chief Executive, and the business partner of Neil Goodwin, another former SHA Chief Executive and friend of Nicholson. It was held in private and, despite assurances to the contrary, did not seek evidence from any of the 70 Trust staff who were alleged to be either victims or perpetrators of bullying or clinical malpractice (or both). The review found no case to answer, but Hands is adamant that these issues haven’t been thoroughly investigated. However the regulators, the department of health and Lansley’s office just aren’t interested. Hands has now submitted his evidence to the Mid Staffs Inquiry.

If a professor of health management and former CEO with 45 years experience can’t get his concerns taken seriously, imagine how hard for those lower down to blow the whistle?


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2 Responses to Professor David Hands, Suicides, Bullying and a Mental Health Trust

  1. Dee Speers says:

    I have been trying to get an investigation into my sons death for 6 years and SUI report is due for publication.I have given evidence to Health Select Committee and been refused an investigation by the PHSO because “there is no worthwhile outcome!”
    CQC have gone into hyper bureaucracy….latest FOI!
    Am also in touch with Mid Staffs team and helping where I can!
    NB. On final day of remit the then regulator the Healthcare Commission “reluctantly withdrew suicide indicators locally and nationally….the then Gov withdrew National Suicide Prevention Strategy and Coalition (Health Minister Paul Burstow to Madeline Moon MP) promised a New Suicide Prevention Strategy in “Spring 2011″
    Nothing on the obvious need to reinstate suicide indicators for audit purposes!

  2. Dr Helen Bright says:

    Interesting. There were times when trust did not have enough psychiatrists. Some of those who were in the job had to do an impossible job.

    Politicians will change the system which would give patients access to doctors, but public needs to support them.

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