Work­ing to stamp out ‘un­ac­cept­able’ be­hav­iour at work

Bath Chronicle - - NEWS -

All em­ploy­ees have the right to be treated with con­sid­er­a­tion, dig­nity and re­spect”

One in eight mem­bers of staff at Royal United Hospi­tals Bath said they were bul­lied by man­agers and one in seven were as­saulted by pa­tients or other mem­bers of the pub­lic last year. A two-year study con­ducted by the Bri­tish Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion (BMA) has re­vealed that bul­ly­ing and ha­rass­ment is com­mon in NHS work places and that many doc­tors and other staff say their per­sonal and work­ing lives are se­ri­ously af­fected by it. Fig­ures from the NHS Staff Sur­vey 2017 re­veal 13.2 per cent of staff at the RUH had been vic­tims of bul­ly­ing, ha­rass­ment or abuse from man­agers last year, de­spite the trust’s poli­cies to tackle the is­sue. As well as bul­ly­ing from man­agers, one in five mem­bers of staff (18.4 per cent) at the trust said they had been vic­tims of bul­ly­ing, ha­rass­ment or abuse from other col­leagues. This was the high­est pro­por­tion re­port­ing bul­ly­ing since the ques­tion was added to the sur­vey in its cur­rent form in 2015. Ac­cord­ing to the BMA re­port, doc­tors who had been bul­lied said it had de­stroyed their con­fi­dence and af­fected them per­son­ally, and in some in­stances caused se­ri­ous and last­ing harm to their lives and ca­reers. It is not just bul­ly­ing from man­agers and col­leagues that is a prob­lem at Royal United Hospi­tals Bath - but from pa­tients, too. More than a quar­ter of staff (28.2 per cent) said they had been bul­lied, ha­rassed or abused by pa­tients, their rel­a­tives or other mem­bers of the pub­lic last year. But, nearly half of staff (47.3 per cent) who ex­pe­ri­enced bul­ly­ing, ha­rass­ment or abuse last year said nei­ther they nor a col­league had re­ported the last in­ci­dent they had suf­fered. Claire Radley, direc­tor of peo­ple and Dr Bernie Mar­den, med­i­cal direc­tor at the RUH said in a state­ment: “Bul­ly­ing and ha­rass­ment is not tol­er­ated by the trust, and we treat al­le­ga­tions both se­ri­ously and con­fi­den­tially. All em­ploy­ees have the right to be treated with con­sid­er­a­tion, dig­nity and re­spect. “We value our col­leagues’ com­ments and we are al­ways look­ing to ad­dress ar­eas where we can im­prove fur­ther as an em­ployer. “These in­clude ap­point­ing an equal­ity and di­ver­sity of­fi­cer whose role in­cludes re­view­ing staff ex­pe­ri­ences of work; train­ing staff in con­flict res­o­lu­tion to give them greater con­fi­dence in dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions; and we also have a Free­dom to Speak Up Guardian who is avail­able to any mem­ber of staff who wants to dis­cuss is­sues that are af­fect­ing their abil­ity to do their job.” Dr Anthea Mowat, BMA bul­ly­ing and ha­rass­ment project spon­sor, said: “As well as dam­ag­ing staff, bul­ly­ing also im­pacts on pa­tients and the con­se­quences for pa­tient care and safety are se­ri­ous. “The BMA re­port not only looks at the prob­lems but also of­fers some real so­lu­tions to bring an end to a cul­ture that has ex­isted for far too long.” Mean­while, emer­gency ser­vices from across the South West are work­ing to­gether to high­light a rise in the num­ber of assaults on their staff whilst on duty, by launch­ing a new cam­paign #Un­ac­cept­able. South Western Am­bu­lance Ser­vice Foun­da­tion Trust (SWASFT) is tak­ing part in this cam­paign af­ter re­port­ing 1,049 assaults on their staff be­tween Jan­uary and De­cem­ber 2017, this is an in­crease of 97 re­ports on the pre­vi­ous 12 months. Ken Wen­man, chief ex­ec­u­tive of SWASFT, said: “Like all our emer­gency ser­vices col­leagues, our crews and con­trol staff work in ex­tremely dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances and are of­ten un­der threat of at­tack or abuse. This is to­tally un­ac­cept­able and we will take what­ever ac­tion is nec­es­sary to en­sure that our staff are pro­tected and those re­spon­si­ble for such at­tacks are pros­e­cuted. “We are very proud to be part of this im­por­tant cam­paign and hope that to­gether we can make a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in re­duc­ing the num­ber of assaults on our staff so that they can con­tinue to pro­vide an ex­cel­lent ser­vice to the pub­lic with­out fear of at­tack or abuse.”

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