An MSP has called on NHS Highland to roll out a survey to all its staff to gauge how widespread the bullying culture remains within the health board two years after whistleblowers prompted an independent inquiry.
John Sturrock QC, who carried out the probe, confirmed that harassment and bullying was systemic within the health authority.
Highland and Islands Conservative MSP has called on NHS Highland to launch a staff survey to all employees after it emerged 68% of employees who responded to a questionnaire at the Argyll and Bute health and social care partnership within the authority confirmed they had experienced bullying.
Mr Mountain said he welcomed NHS Highland’s creation of a healing process since the inquiry, but confirmed some former and current employees of the health board are still contacting him to raise serious concerns about the continuation of a bullying culture.
He is also calling for a separate independent inquiry into bullying for the Argyll & Bute area of NHS Highland, which was not included in the Sturrock investigation.
Mr Mountain told The Press and Journal: “It’s almost two years since the whistle was blown on the dreadful culture of bullying taking place within NHS Highland and which the Sturrock report later confirmed.
“While individuals are receiving help through NHS Highland’s Healing Process, I am deeply concerned that not enough action is being taken to undo the wider culture of bullying within the health board.
“The survey from Argyll and Bute underlines how bullying has not gone away, with some staff continuing to be mistreated.
“NHS Highland must now assess all regions within the health board through a staff survey to provide a true picture of how deep the problem is and showing how much progress has been made since the Sturrock report.
“Bullying should not be tolerated in any workplace and I continue to offer my support to victims who have suffered from this sorry episode.”
Fiona Hogg, NHS Highland’s director of HR and organisational development, said: “We know that some colleagues continue to report concerns with relationships and behaviours in the workplace, this is responded to in a variety of ways reflecting the very broad and diverse nature of relationships across the organisation.
“We work hard to address issues that are raised quickly and effectively, in partnership with managers, HR and trade unions.
“We have also put in place additional channels of support. In addition, training in having good conversations has already been rolled out to around 500 colleagues and is an ongoing programme of work.”
She added: “We are currently participating in the NHS Scotland “Everyone Matters” pulse survey.
“The results of that staff experience survey will inform our ongoing programme of work.”
She said the Argyll and Bute survey was carried out as a key action from the Sturrock Report, and “interventions have been progressed in-line with our overall culture programme”.