One of Sydney’s major hospitals has been stripped of its Intensive Care Unit training accreditation following a string of serious bullying and harassment allegations against senior medical staff.
The College of Intensive Care stripped Westmead Hospital, in Sydney’s west, of its ICU training credentials in September following the complaints.
The NSW Government said it was made aware of the issue on Thursday and has demanded a report into the allegations within a month.
The Western Sydney Local Health District has since appointed an independent investigator.
The extent and nature of the allegations has not been revealed publicly.
Fairfax Media reported that the Australian Salaried Medical Officer’s Federation NSW (ASMOF) sent an email to its members stating that the removal of the accreditation signalled “serious failings and the erosion of trust and confidence in management from the district to effectively and appropriately deal with such conduct.”
It said the loss of training positions could have an impact on patient care and would likely increase workloads for existing ICU doctors.
However Westmead Hospital senior clinician Mark Priestly refuted those claims and said services and patient car would not be affected.
“It’s probably worth notifying that there was no suggestion by the intensive care unit of any problem with the quality of the patient care, in fact the care in the intensive care unit is excellent,” Dr Priestly said.
There are concerns for patient care after Westmead Hospital in Parramatta was stripped of its ICU training accreditation. (AAP: Dean Lewins, file photo)
However he said the allegations “concerned them greatly”.
“We’re taking it very seriously and looking to address the issues identified, and [in particular] the culture of bullying,” Dr Priestly said.
“I think that there are a lot of issues around a supportive working conditions and supportive nature from senior to junior staff that can be addressed.
“And we can take examples both within the hospital that are working well and outside and looked to using them as exemplars to make that work in different units and also from hospital to hospital but there’s a lot of work we can do.”