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Bullying & Harassment Report

04 August 2017

CrestDear Colleagues,

I am writing to you today to share copies of both the full and summary reports into bullying and harassment within SECAmb that the Trust commissioned from Professor Duncan Lewis.

These will be published on our website later on today and are likely to be the subject of media coverage.

I wanted to begin by thanking all of those staff who have contributed to this report through focus groups, by completing the survey or by contacting Professor Lewis directly. I know that, for some, this will have taken real courage – thank you for being brave enough to come forward.

I hope anyone who contributed is also reassured that Professor Lewis has respected the anonymity of those who participated, whilst producing a full, detailed and independent report. We are publishing the reports exactly as received from Professor Lewis.

I am sure that you will all agree that the reports do not make for comfortable reading for anyone. I am truly disappointed and upset that so many of our staff have experienced bullying and disrespectful behaviour in the workplace.

I want to be very clear that the behaviours described in the report are completely unacceptable. They will not be tolerated, in any sense and at any level, moving forward. The Board, including our Chairman Richard Foster, also share this commitment.

Where appropriate, the Trust is already taking action through our own internal processes but the issues identified run far deeper and are broader than just a few individuals. What we need to build, by working together, is a very different workplace, where all staff will be supported and where poor behaviours will not be tolerated. We have already started work in a number of areas, as part of the Trust’s Recovery Plan but there is obviously more we need to do.

In the report, Professor Lewis makes a number of recommendations that the Trust should take to address the issues specifically identified through his research.

These seem sensible to me but I am very keen that, having identified the issues, staff also help to define the solutions and we build our action plan from the ground up.

Starting during the week commencing 14th August, sessions will be held at multiple locations, over a four-week period, to allow staff the opportunity to suggest ways in which we can build a better workplace. These sessions will be supported by myself and by other Exec Directors and are currently being organised by the Staff Engagement team. Times and locations for these sessions will follow shortly, so please watch out for these locally and in the Bulletin and on the Intranet.

The feedback from these sessions will feed directly into our action plan, which I would like to see drafted by the end of September 2017, although it may take a little longer if we get lots of feedback from staff. It’s important that we start to act promptly but also that we get it right.

I am also aware that reading this report may affect people in different ways and that some staff may need some support as a result or may want to raise further concerns. This page on the Intranet details the support that is available.

I would like to end by thanking, once again, all those who have contributed to this. Although difficult to read, I firmly believe that this report is the first step to us building a good and supportive working environment.

Daren Mochrie

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