Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

NHS Highland bullying complaints still high as ‘alarming’ figures released

Raigmore Hospital.
Raigmore Hospital.

Bullying complaints across NHS Highland remain high three years after a damning report revealed hundreds of staff had been victims of a toxic workplace culture.

The latest data released by the health board showed 35 cases had been reported to bosses in 2021-22.

It’s a decline from a total of 40 complaints made across the region the previous year, but still one of the highest rates in the country.

In 2017-18 just five bullying cases were reported. However, this increased to 16 complaints the following year, and 26 in 2019-20.

The health board revealed last year they were preparing to pay out £3.4 million to staff who had been subjected to bullying.

Two people were set to receive payments between £60,000 and £95,000, with a further six being awarded at least £30,000.

A report into the scandal by John Sturrock QC in 2019 sent shockwaves through the health board and highlighted the scale of the crisis.

Elsewhere, NHS Grampian recorded its highest number of bullying complaints in the past five years with 13 registered in 2021-22.

‘Culture of secrecy’

Tory MSP Sandesh Gullhane branded the latest figures across Scotland “deeply alarming”.

He said: “This dramatic rise in bullying cases in Scotland’s health service is deeply alarming – no one should be subjected to intimidation in the workplace.

“Whether it’s the problems at NHS Tayside’s oncology department or the apparent efforts to silence whistle-blowers at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth hospital, there is evidence of an unhealthy culture of secrecy and closing ranks in our NHS that must be nipped in the bud.

“Bullying can never be tolerated or covered up, as this creates a dangerous workplace environment where staff are fearful of speaking out.”

A survey by NHS Highland last year revealed there was still work to be done to stamp out the culture of bullying in the health board.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf was urged to act over NHS Tayside bullying complaints.

A spokesperson for NHS Highland said: “The health and wellbeing of staff is a priority for NHS Highland and we will not tolerate bullying or inappropriate behaviour of any kind.

“Any allegations of bullying are taken extremely seriously and we will thoroughly investigate any claims that are highlighted to us.”

An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “Bullying behaviour in the workplace is not acceptable.

“Staff are supported and encouraged to raise concerns in line with the relevant policies.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Bullying and harassment is unacceptable in any circumstances and we expect all health boards and their employees to act in line with the values and behaviours expected of everyone in NHS Scotland.

“Ministers have made clear to health boards that bullying and harassment is unacceptable, and we expect them to ensure any reported incidents are taken seriously and fully investigated.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]