NHS staff survey: bullying by colleagues on the rise


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Professional News
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The latest NHS staff survey reveals that more and more staff members are experiencing bullying, harassment or abuse at the hands of patients and the public.

The newly-released 2018 survey results show that 28.3 per cent of respondents experienced at least one incident of bullying, harassment or abuse from patients/service users, their relatives or other members of the public in the last 12 months. This compares to 28.1 per cent in 2017.

More than 13 per cent of staff said they had experienced bullying or abuse from managers, an increase of 0.4 per cent on 2017 figures. Worryingly, the number of staff reporting personal experiences of bullying, harassment or abuse perpetrated by colleagues increased by more than 1 per cent, from 18 per cent in 2017 to 19.1 per cent in 2018.

Furthermore, in the 2018 survey 12.8 per cent of staff reported experiencing discrimination at work. Just under seven per cent reported personally experiencing discrimination from patients and the public, but 8.1 per cent reported discrimination from managers or colleagues.

Only 28.6 per cent of respondents felt their organisation takes positive action on health and wellbeing, which is a 3 per cent decline from 31.8 per cent in 2017. However, there was a 3 per cent increase in the proportion of staff who said they were satisfied with the extent to which their organisation values their work and a 4 per cent increase in the proportion who were satisfied with the recognition they get for good work.

The NHS Staff Survey is one of the largest workforce surveys in the world and has been conducted every year since 2003. More than 300 NHS organisations took part in the 2018 survey, including all 230 trusts in England. The survey does not cover primary care staff.

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