Discrimination, harassment, bullying and violence in the NHS
The recently published 2019 NHS Staff Survey results have revealed the extent to which discrimination, harassment, bullying and violence are carried out against staff in the NHS.
569 440 staff members directly employed by an NHS organisation took part in the survey, which was conducted between October and December 2019. With well over a million NHS employees, this is the largest staff survey in the UK, and it achieved a 48% response rate.
In the results, 28.5% of NHS staff experienced at least one incident of bullying, harassment or abuse in the last 12 months from patients, their relatives or other members of the public. 12.3% reported bullying, harassment or abuse from managers, and 19.0% from other colleagues.
As a stark insight to current working conditions, 14.9% of NHS staff experienced at least one incident of physical violence in the last 12 months from patients, their relatives or other members of the public. 0.6% reported physical violence from managers, and 1.5% from other colleagues. Meanwhile, 40.3% of those surveyed reported feeling unwell as a result of work related stress in the last 12 months, up from 36.8% in 2016.
In addition, 12.6% of staff reported experiencing discrimination at work. The survey showed that discrimination on the grounds of ethnic background continues to be the most common reason for discrimination reported by NHS staff. Besides ‘other reasons’, gender and age were the next most commonly reported reasons for discrimination.
In response the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock has written to all NHS staff, telling them: ‘being assaulted or abused is not part of the job’.
What are your experiences? Does the NHS have pockets of endemic racism and bullying? Have you personally experienced harassment or violence from patients or colleagues? If so what should be done to eradicate the problem? Leave your comments in the section below.