In defence of the RCN

As an ex-member of RCN staff I feel I must reply to the criticism of the RCN
(Letters, Occupational Health, August 2002) with regard to harassment and
bullying.

While working for the RCN I suffered from bullying by my line manager for a
few years until it came to light and was effectively dealt with under the
organisation’s policy.

What we have to remember is that the RCN employs some 800 people throughout
the UK from many different disciplines and professions and, as with all
organisations, there are good and bad people working in it.

Many of the RCN’s employees are not nurses and are therefore not bound by
any professional code of practice, so although the professional employees may
maintain confidentiality, others may not. Moreover, the RCN is a membership
organisation and it is that membership that elects its own council and employs
the RCN staff. Has the author of the letter made their comments known to the relevant
council member, as well as writing to a professional journal or is it up to
other members to do this?

Unions are only as good and effective as their membership and it is the
membership that directs any action. If the membership cannot get the action
right it is no wonder there are problems in the NHS.

Name and address supplied

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