Statement on delay to investigation into University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB)

March 9, 2023

Healthwatch Birmingham and Healthwatch Solihull are disappointed that Professor Mike Bewick’s review into patient safety and allegations of bullying at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) has not been published today as has been expected. The review was commissioned by NHS Birmingham and Solihull (NHS BSol) in response to claims made on BBC Newsnight.

It is vital for patient confidence in UHB that any further delay is minimized and that the report is published as quickly as possible.

We note that NHS BSol has said that organizations and individuals named in the report are being given time to respond prior to publication. While this may be understandable, NHS BSol must also make it clear that nobody will have a veto over anything in the report. Full transparency is one of the central ground rules that Healthwatch Birmingham and Healthwatch Solihull have put forward regarding this review – and that means publication of the findings in full.

It is also important to remember that this review – and the two following reviews into organizational culture and governance at UHB also announced by NHS BSol – are not ends in themselves. They must be pathways to actions that achieve real change at UHB. We owe no less to the staff who have bravely spoken out as well as the patients whose welfare and safety must always be paramount.

– Richard Burden, Chair, Healthwatch Birmingham and Healthwatch Solihull

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