Bullying ‘widespread’ in NHS Scotland, claims BMA
BMA to probe harassment and bullying within NHS Scotland in 2019
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Bullying and harassment of staff within NHS Scotland is “widespread” and requires urgent action, doctors’ union the British Medical Association (BMA) has claimed.
In a Christmas message for doctors, BMA Scotland Chair Lewis Morrison said results of the members’ survey revealed 38 per cent report bullying in their workplace.
The BMA will conduct a “major piece of work” in 2019 to investigate the matter, he announced.
The pledge comes after high profile reports of bullying in NHS Tayside and NHS Highland, where over 100 doctors signed a letter condemning the working culture in the health board.
Dr Morrison said: “At this time of year, doctors will be going above and beyond what is asked to them to care for patients in often highly pressurised and difficult circumstances.
“That patients largely remain satisfied with the service the NHS provides is a real tribute to all the staff, who go the extra mile, both over the Christmas period and indeed all year round. They all deserve our gratitude and thanks.
“But more than that, the least they should expect is a positive, supportive working environment that allows them to focus on providing the best possible care they can for each and every patient.
“Worryingly, that just isn’t the case for far too many of our NHS staff. Doctors have told us that bullying and harassment is still widespread and recent high profile cases only serve to underline those concerns. Every single case will have a serious impact on the doctor concerned. It threatens to undermine them and prevent them from focussing on patients.”
Last month mediator John Sturrock QC was appointed chair of an independent review of the claims at NHS Highland.
Launching the review, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “These are serious allegations and it is clearly important to me that we establish exactly what the underlying issues are so I can decide on any actions that might be necessary.”
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