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Trust committed to tackling bullying and harassment

04 August 2017

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) has today (4 August) published a large-scale independent report to help it better understand and help tackle bullying and harassment issues at the Trust.

Ambulance LogoThe independent report, which was commissioned by SECAmb itself, and produced by Professor Duncan Lewis from Plymouth University, follows concerns raised in the Trust’s staff survey and last year’s CQC report.

Some 2,000 staff participated in the research with more than 40% of those who responded reporting some experience of bullying in the last 12 months.

Publishing the report in full is the first step in the Trust tackling its findings. The Trust wants to make it very clear that the behaviours identified in the report are unacceptable and HR action is being taken against individuals where necessary.

We will be inviting staff to join a number of focus groups, supported by the Chief Executive and other directors, in the coming weeks. Having identified the issues, we now need staff to help us define the solutions, as we build our action plan to fully address them.

SECAmb Chief Executive Daren Mochrie said: "I would like to thank Professor Lewis for his expertise in writing this report, although I am truly disappointed and upset that so many of our staff have experienced bullying and disrespectful behaviour in the workplace.

"In the time since my appointment in April this year, it has been very clear to me that SECAmb is full of extremely dedicated and professional people who are concerned about caring for their patients as well as each other. However, I was also aware that the Trust is facing a number of challenges and areas where vital improvements need to be made.

"One such area was high reported levels of bullying and harassment evidenced by our staff survey and from last year’s CQC inspection. We chose to commission this independent report to help us address this worrying issue. The behaviours it describes are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated, in any sense and at any level, moving forward.

SECAmb Chairman Richard Foster said: "I and the whole Board take the findings of the report extremely seriously. It is now important that we work closely with staff to build a very different workplace, where all staff will be supported and where poor behaviours will not be tolerated."

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