Group to address NHS bullying meets for first time

Thursday 1st August 2019

NHS boards, trade unions, royal colleges and regulatory bodies have come together for the first meeting of a short-life working group aiming to improve behaviour and workforce practices within the NHS.

Chaired by Cabinet Secretary for Health & Sport, Jeane Freeman, the advisory group is investigating measures to promote positive behaviour and address bullying cultures identified in a recent report into NHS Highland.

The Sturrock review, published earlier this year, found there was a culture of bullying within NHS Highland and widespread evidence staff were treated inappropriately. It said senior management often failed to respond, leading to staff suffering ‘serious harm and trauma’.

The group was created in response to the findings and over the next few months will look at what more can be done to support ‘open and honest workplace cultures’ and improve behaviour

This was a positive and productive first meeting of the advisory group,” said the Health Secretary.

Over the coming months we will to engage constructively with the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the Sturrock review.

I believe passionately in the NHS Scotland values of care and compassion, dignity and respect, openness, honesty, responsibility, quality and teamwork - and I know that staff across our NHS believe passionately in those values too.

Our collective belief in these values is critical to our capacity to deliver the safe, effective person-centred care people deserve; but to truly do that our staff have to experience a workplace culture at every level which is aligned to those values.”

As part of a range of measures announced since the Sturrock review, dedicated whistleblowing champions are also being recruited to all 14 health boards in Scotland by the end of the year to enable staff to speak up about poor practice.