A QUARTER of staff surveyed within the county’s hospitals say they have experienced bullying by colleagues.
The finding was revealed as part of the national NHS staff survey for 2014, released last week, and comes amid allegations of bullying within Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
The figure has risen from 13 per cent when the same question was posed during the 2010 survey. Nurses were the biggest group reporting they had been bullied in the last 12 months by other members of staff, out of the 320 workers who filled in the questionnaire.
Trust bosses, along with the Trust Development Authority, have commissioned an investigation which will look at the way reports of bullying are handled but so far it appears staff will not be specifically asked to come forward with concerns and historic allegations will not be re-examined as part of the probe.
The survey also highlighted the fact the number of staff saying the Trust believed the organisation acted on concerns raised by patients had fallen from 2013 from 73 per cent to 67 per cent and only 58 per cent of staff would recommend it as a place to work, although that was broadly in line with the average for all acute trusts across the country.
The Trust was also among the worst in the country for staff feeling pressure to attend work with 34 per cent saying they did.
But the Trust was amongst the best ranked Trusts for staff agreeing their role made a difference to patients (92 per cent) while just 32 per cent of staff witnessed potentially harmful errors, near misses or incidents in the last month.
The number of staff saying they would be happy with the standard of care provided to a friend or relative also increased from 62 per cent to 67 per cent when compared with the 2013 survey.
Denise Harnin, director of human resources and organisational development, said nationally 24 per cent of Acute Trust staff reported experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from other staff which was ‘disappointing and worrying’.
“We have made it clear bullying should play no place in our Trust which is why last week we announced plans for an independent investigation which will take an in-depth look at the way all reports of bullying within the organisation are handled and investigated. This will inform any action that needs to be taken as a result.” she added.
“A full action plan is also in development as a result of the staff survey, and will focus on the areas which need improvement.”