AN NHS staff member accused their line manager of leaving rosters understaffed in order to save money, according to a whistleblowing report.

The anonymised document said the employee also complained of “poor leadership” and left Shropshire Community Health Trust shortly after a request to take annual leave over the Christmas period was turned down.

Alison Trumper, the trust’s deputy director of nursing and quality, said she found no evidence that the manager was using understaffing as a cost-cutting technique.

Her report, which summarised four other referrals made under the trust’s Freedom to Speak Up policy, was presented to the SCHT board on Thursday, March 28.

Ms Trumper is also the trust’s F2SU guardian and oversees nine F2SU advocates. NHS trusts have been required to have such a system in place since 2016.

She wrote: “The guardian team advocate that employees should feel they can raise concerns with their line manager as first line of communication.

“The guardian team are available as an additional resource for employees if there are circumstances where the individual or team feel they cannot talk their line manager in the first instance.”

Five referrals were made to F2SU advocates between October 2018 and March 2019, her report said.

Ms Trumper wrote: “Following decline of an employee request for annual leave throughout the Christmas period, the employee raised this as a concern in addition to other examples cited as poor leadership within the service.”

This included the allegation the line manager “does not plan the roster to the full staffing level in order to save money”.

Ms Trumper writes that she herself investigated “and is fully assured that there is no evidence to substantiate the service lead actively reducing staffing levels to meet a financial target”.

The staff member had a “positive” follow-up meeting with the manager, but nonetheless resigned from the service.

The most recent other referral in Ms Trumper’s report concerned an allegation of bullying.

“The staff member is experiencing home-life stressors and work-life stressors triggered by a feeling of being ‘picked on’.

“The staff member did not feel she could speak to the line manager.”

Ms Trumper adds that the staff member in question is current on sick leave, and “the issue has been escalated to the senior line manager”.

Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust is responsible for Bishops Castle, Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Whitchurch Community Hospitals, Oswestry Health Centre and other community-based health services in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Alex Moore