Sidcup hospital spends thousands on ‘coaching’ courses for managers

PUBLISHED: 17:04 03 November 2010

Queen Mary's Hospital

Queen Mary's Hospital


Hospital bosses at a trust which is in debt to the tune of millions have been spending £62,000 of tax payers money a year for ‘coaching’ courses dubbed by one employee as “not worth the paper it is written on”.

Staff at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, which is having both its A&E and maternity unit axed this year, spent £62,000 last year on coaching courses, including 13 for HR and ‘organisational development’ employees to train as ‘internal coaches’.

This comes after a Freedom of Information request by the Times requesting the communication budget and salary of its director Carl Shoben had to be referred to the Information Commissioner, as bosses at the Trust took a staggering five months to comply, in clear breach of the 20 working days rule set out in the Act. It revealed the communication department’s budget this year is £275,000, including Mr Shoben’s salary which is between £80,000 to £85,000.

An employee who wished to remain anonymous told the Times: “It is rubbish. All that money is wasted. I am sick that we can’t afford midwives or essential equipment but money is spent on this coaching c***. They have spent tens of thousands of pounds sitting around on fluffy cushions patting themselves on their backs.

“It is not worth the paper it is written on.

“The top brass is being paid an absolute fortune and it is disgusting.

“I have been in public service all my life and I am just disgusted by the waste of money at that hospital.

“People are leaving the Trust in their droves. I am desperate to leave.”

A spokesperson for the Trust said: “In 2008/9 Queen Mary’s was awarded £150,000 from NHS London from its continuing professional development budget to implement its coaching strategy. During that year £62,000 was spent with OCM - including £46,000 for 13 HR/OD professionals to train as internal coaches at a cost of £3,000 each plus VAT; and £16,000 on one-to-one coaching for 17 senior managers and action learning sets for internal coaches. £10,000 was spent with Full Potential Group on hosting four workshops on coaching skills for managers which were accessed by 35 managers in clinical and corporate functions. £38,000 was used to employ two members of staff to backfill (cover) the coaches’ time and the remainder was rolled over into 2009/10 to use for one-to-one coaching for senior managers and action learning sets for internal coaches.

“To date over 750 staff have benefited from coaching either individually or in a team or group setting; including 600 as part of the support through consultation and restructure. The provision of coaching is a key part of the leadership and organisational development strategy of SLHT as an effective and efficient leadership development tool used regularly by 83 per cent of organisations. It promotes change through positive leadership which directly impacts upon patient care as staff are better supported and enabled to do their job.”

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