When we last reported, an outside “audit” was underway of Cranford Hospice. That report, slated for delivery by April 9, is now expected at the end of April.
Meanwhile, at the instigation of management, on April 6 a private investigator from the firm Abraham Consultants began investigating “leaks” about complaints at Cranford. Presbyterian Trust (PSEC) management is seeking to determine who on the staff is responsible for giving information to the complainant who triggered the independent audit, as well as to “the media” (read: BayBuzz).
PSEC and Cranford managers met with staff on March 23rd to warn them of the investigation, and sent formal notice by letter on April 1. However, staff has not been informed of their legal right to refuse to meet with the investigator.
This is a blatant attempt by management to further intimidate the caregiving staff at Cranford.
Keep in mind that a major root of the deep disaffection amongst Cranford staff – and complaints to the audit team — is precisely this culture of bullying and intimidation.
Incredible! In the face of complaints serious enough, in the judgment of the Health & Disabilities Commissioner, to warrant an ongoing independent audit of Cranford’s practices and dysfunctional culture, management hires a private investigator to conduct a witch-hunt. What don’t these people get?!
All this after two all-staff “mediation” sessions in December and February intended to improve the organizational culture and give Cranford a fresh start.
To all the kind people who dropped coins in the cans of nice ladies raising funds for Cranford recently … is this what you had in mind? A gold coin for a witch-hunt? How about all you corporate sponsors … is this the kind of management practice you’re keen to endorse?
And what does the DHB, Cranford’s primary funder and supervisor think about this? DHB staff were unwilling to comment, terming the private investigation an “internal matter” to PSEC. I suspect some DHB Board members think otherwise.
In addition, staff are being told that because a few disgruntled employees have spoiled the reputation of Cranford, the hospice has been unable to recruit a new Medical Director. [In February, the current director announced he would be leaving this month.] If this situation persists, in-patient service might need to be shut down (i.e., all patients treated at home, in institutions, or at the hospital). It seems like PSEC is preparing for such a contingency by laying the groundwork to blame a “handful of complainers” for any reduction in service.
But judging from information BayBuzz receives almost daily, staff disaffection is in fact widespread, with more to surface.
In light of these developments, it seems almost incidental that back pay issues with nurses have still not been resolved … the Nurses’ Union has re-engaged on the matter with the Department of Labour.
Is this the profile of an effectively functioning institution?
Yet through it all, the nurses – who are totally devoted to giving Cranford’s patients the best possible care – have soldiered on. They do so in a setting whose already abnormal stress — which most of us couldn’t bear — has been greatly amplified.
In any other organizational context, these employees would have linked arms long ago and issued an ultimatum: Either the management goes, or we go.
Here, the managers are inexcusable. The caregivers are priceless.
Because Cranford is at the meltdown point, it’s time for the public, which cares deeply about the institution, to ponder who they think holds its soul. Is it the managers, who bear responsibility for the worsening situation. Or the caregivers, who continue with determination to honour their profession and their personal commitment to their patients.