NHS guide will help HR staff to fight bullying

NHS Employers has launched guidance to help employers tackle problems with bullying and harassment in their trusts.

The problems were highlighted by the Healthcare Commission in its staff survey last month and it urged trusts to continue their efforts to tackle the problem.

The guidance, which is being launched at the ‘HR in the NHS’ conference in Birmingham this week, will help trusts to differentiate between firm and fair management and bullying and harassment. 

It contains advice for employers about how to identify problems and how to tackle them informally or when a formal complaint has been made.

Julian Topping, head of workplace health and employment at NHS Employers, said: “The NHS is the largest employer in the UK and it is vital that we ensure it has a culture where bullying and harassment are seen as unacceptable. This guidance will help trusts to spot potential issues and deal with them quickly before they become a problem.” 

Topping said bullying would remain “top of the agenda” for NHS Employers in the coming year.

The guidance highlights the example of Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust which has appointed 10 harassment support workers to help employees with complaints of bullying and harassment. 


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