Local health campaigners gave a, “cautious welcome” to the news that Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust (HEY) is to take, “swift action” to deal with a, “culture of bullying and silence” which was picked up by this year’s Care Quality Commission Report published in May. HEY Chief Executive Chris Long is to chair an Anti Bullying Group.
Lyn Longbottom, Chair of Hull People’s NHS said, “The Trust, working with the Arbitration and Conciliation Service (ACAS) and the Trade Unions has produced an action plan to build confidence that the staff can feel safe in reporting issues of bullying. We support HEY Trust Chris Long’s statement, “My message is clear: bullying, intimidation, harassment and other such behaviours will simply not be tolerated. We all know how it feels to work under pressure, but shouting or swearing at staff simply is not an acceptable form of behaviour or a means of getting things done.” But we have to hope that these are not mere words to appease the public. Staff tell us consistently that bullying is so ingrained that it will take a shift of seismic proportions to change that culture”.
Theresa Vaughan is the Campaign Group Secretary. She said, “The theme if bullying and poor staff morale has been a long term problem. The Trust self disclosed that morale was poor in July 2012. We question why it took an inspection for them to acknowledge this. There is a strong argument for bringing in an independent Chair to deal with this issue. After all bullying is often driven down from the top passed on from manager to manager – who in the right mind would open up to the very people that are bullying you? We call for a strong response from the Trade Unions and especially from our elected representatives whose job it is to keep on top of these things and report back to us the community who rely on HEY for the wellbeing of our family and friends.”