managerial ‘guts’ to root up bullying in the NHS, says Amicus the health
Trade union, which represents 100,000 professionals working in the health service.
Amicus was responding to an internal NHS report which estimates that cutting the
level of bullying by just 1% could save the health service £9 million annually in
The Amicus Head of Health, Gail Cartmail said: ‘It will take guts and influence to
challenge the hierarchical structure at the root of the NHS culture that makes bullying
behaviour the norm. If staff can’t give a 100 per cent because they are being bullied, this, unfortunately, affects care to patients and clients.’
Amicus repeated its demand – first made two years ago – for the introduction of a system
of anti-bullying Ombudsmen to co-ordinate and monitor policies at the Strategic Health
Authority (SHA) and Primary Care Trust (PCT) levels – and their equivalents in
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This proposal followed a survey by the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA) – a professional section of Amicus - which revealed that half of the health visitors and community nurses surveyed had been bullied at their current place of work, mainly by senior colleagues.
Ms Cartmail said: ‘Amicus has continually surveyed our members in the NHS in response to persistent complaints of bullying in the workplace. We found very disturbing evidence of bullying highlighted by our community nurse members.’
She said: ‘As a start, every Strategic Health Authority should identify a senior manager with designated responsibility to lead and co-ordinate action to tackle this persistent blight.’
Amicus has invited employers to join its Dignity at Work partnership project funded jointly by Amicus, and the Department of Trade and Industry. The project's action pack is currently being piloted by employers and will be fully rolled out in October 2005.
The aim of the project is to encourage employee representatives and employers to build cultures in which respect for individuals is paramount. Employers interested in the Dignity at Work partnership should contact [email protected] amicustheunion.org