Nurses in fear of bullies at work, RCN study finds

first_imgNurses in fear of bullies at work, RCN study findsOn 27 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Upto one in six nurses has been bullied, a report by the Royal College of Nursinghas found.Asurvey of 4,500 nurses found that 17 per cent reported having been harassed inthe previous 12 months by another member of staff, with the proportion rising to29 per cent among respondents from ethnic minorities. A third of those affectedintended to leave.“Healthcareorganisations must introduce and implement effective anti-harassmentprogrammes,” said Christine Hancock, RCN general secretary. “Nurses need to beable to work free from fear.”GaryTheobald, head of personnel at Basildon and Thurrock NHS Trust, said HRmanagers cannot rely on grievance procedures to deal with bullying becauseevidence is difficult to establish.“Eachcase has to be looked at on its own merits if someone has a relationship with asuperior and feels he or she is being intimidated,” he said. “Inthese cases quite often mundane comments take on additional meaning, so it isvery hard for the individual to say, ‘There is the evidence’. “Itis usually long-term, covert and there are no witnesses.”MarieCleary, HR manager at Poole Hospital NHS Trust, said the hospital does not usethe grievance procedure for the same reasons. “Theprocess that we adopt is always one of working with the individuals to look atthe reasons for the behaviours and look at replacing negative behaviour withwhat we would expect. It is a case of drawing the line but educating staff.”Thetrust has held training on awareness of bullying and urges staff to reportincidents. ManyNHS trusts have been prompted to address the issue since protecting staff fromassaults and poor treatment – more typically from members of the public – hasbecome a priority after the Government set out its national HR strategy for theNHS in 1997.www.rcn.org.uk ByPhilip Whiteley Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more