Karolinska University Hospital receive interim report on investigation of discrimination from law firm Flood Herslow Holme

News

Karolinska University Hospital has received an interim report from the Stockholm County Council contracted law firm Flood Herslow and Holme (FHH).

The interim report states that the investigation is now under way. The framework for the investigation is based on existing documentation and on interviews. A number of interviews have been conducted, but the law firm says they are planning a further twenty. Because so many interviews have yet to be carried out, it is too early to indicate the outcome of the investigation. The final report will be presented 1–2 weeks after the remaining interviews have been carried out and is expected to be completed before the end of January 2019.

Karolinska University Hospital has a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of discrimination, victimization and other offensive behavior – it goes without saying that this also includes all forms of anti-Semitism, to which the hospital takes strong exception. Karolinska have for many years actively worked to both communicate and live by defined values. The hospital now continues to increase efforts to prevent, discover and address any instances of discrimination and victimization within the organization.

Communication related to ongoing and continuous work around our values has already been stepped up. Karolinska's zero tolerance position regarding any form of discrimination and victimization has been emphasized at the managerial and employee meetings and in internal communication channels, and its policies, guidelines and tools (such as 'The Compass (Vägvisaren) and 'The Whistleblower Function'(Visselblåsarutinen)) have been clarified. Within a number of our themes and functions, managers and employees are already being provided with support to develop their assessment efforts.

Care and patient safety

Each department is responsible for ensuring the safety of patient care. A central staff function, Quality and Patient Safety also continuously monitors all activities to ensure that they are conducted in a patient-safe manner. The Chief Medical Officer function is a central monitoring function and complements local efforts. Each year, the hospital produces an annual account of patient safety and an annual patient safety report.

The Chief Medical Officer of Karolinska University Hospital recently conducted a patient safety review of the affected unit. During a first local patient safety round, a number of general risks relating to hospital beds and practices were identified; these findings do not differ from those found in other departments. Specific risks related to the current case could not be identified, but systematic and ongoing patient safety work is underway within the department, in collaboration with the Chief Medical Officer.

Further activities at the hospital

Karolinska has been in contact with various organizations to listen and learn more about this subject. In our future planning, we will continue to engage in discussions with various individuals and with the organization Forum for Living History, which possesses extensive knowledge in the field. In early 2019 the hospital is planning a number of lectures for employees on the theme of "Everyone's Equal Value," as well as a seminar that will take up the discussion of discrimination and victimization in healthcare.

When the report from the law firm FHH has been delivered to Karolinska; the findings and recommendations of the report will be communicated, together with a plan for possible actions.