Local MSP Michael Russell has expressed his concern about the outcome of the survey on bullying undertaken by NHS Highland of NHS workers in Argyll and Bute and endorsed the HSCP’s process of support and change which is now underway.
Mr Russell commented:
“This survey makes upsetting reading. It took place after recommendations in the Sturrock report on bullying in Highland NHS and clearly John Sturrock was right to suggest it, given the very disturbing picture it reveals.
A culture of bullying has pervaded the local NHS for a long time and those who were responsible for allowing that culture to develop, and sometimes enforcing by their behaviour need to be held to account. The new board and the new HSCP are right to have apologised and I am glad that they have also put together a radical and far reaching plan to tackle and eradicate workplace bullying once and for all.
Now they need to put that plan into operation in co-operation with staff and to do so in an open and sympathetic way. I think the change of management in the HSCP has been and will be of great benefit and I know that Joanna MacDonald is committed to securing a better future and better working conditions for all HSCP staff in the area. I will support her in her efforts to achieve that.
I am sure we all want to ensure that local NHS workers, who are doing so much for us during this crisis – and always do – are respected, listened to and supported.
The culture of bullying extended further though. Local organisations and local representatives were often treated with disdain and sometimes experienced hectoring and bullying behaviour from senior staff as well. It happened to me on more than one occasion and it was utterly unacceptable. It was one of the reasons that I was so keen to see major change in the management and governance of the HSCP and so glad when that was achieved.
Rebuilding trust with communities across the area has already started but it will need to move forward apace. I am happy to do all I can to help and to banish this stain on the reputation of the local NHS once and for all”