One in four Hertfordshire hospital staff bullied or harassed by managers or colleagues

One in four staff working for the East and North Herts NHS trust - which runs Lister Hospital in St

One in four staff working for the East and North Herts NHS trust - which runs Lister Hospital in Stevenage - The 2013 NHS Staff Survey by NHS England shows 27% of respondents at the East and North Herts NHS Trust which runs Lister Hospital in Stevenage have been bullied or harassed by their managers or colleagues - Credit: Archant

One in four hospital staff have experienced bullying or harassment from their managers or colleagues, a survey has revealed.

The 2013 NHS Staff Survey by NHS England shows 27% of respondents at the East and North Herts NHS Trust – which runs Lister Hospital in Stevenage – have been bullied or harassed by their managers or colleagues.

Just over half – 52% – of the Trust’s staff who took part in the survey were confident about whistleblowing concerns being actioned.

However, 85% of the Trust’s respondents were satisfied with the quality of care provided.

The Royal College of Nursing director for the eastern region, Karen Webb, said: “We know a healthy working culture means nurses, doctors and other healthcare staff can freely voice concerns about safety issues in the expectation those concerns will be listened to, without recrimination, and then acted upon.


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“Sadly the NHS Staff Survey results show most Trusts are a long way off having anything like a healthy safety culture.

“Boards need to pay very close attention to the cultural questions in the NHS Staff Survey and to what the responses tell them about their working culture.

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“There is still far too much bullying and harassment of staff and it is imperative that changes. Staff who are treated well deliver better care.”

Thomas Simons, the Trust’s director of workforce and organisational development, said: “We are among the best performers when it comes to staff believing the quality of care provided to their patients is good.

“We are all but average at the NHS for staff being confident about whistleblowing concerns being taken seriously, and we know we have more to do around bullying and harassment.

“On bullying and harassment we have seen significant movement in our rating – with a great deal done since the survey took place in 2013, including widespread training and awareness-raising among the Trust’s line managers and supervisors, the introduction of trained staff mediators, and making it easier for staff to raise concerns.

“A new whistleblowing policy has also been introduced at the Trust, the aim of which is to make it easier for people to talk openly about serious matters about patient care.

“But we see whistleblowing as the last, not first, step for our staff, which is why we have worked hard through better online reporting systems, rolled out towards the end of last year, to help raise concerns as early as possible.”

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