Talk Health and Care


I feel you have joined two separate issues with different root causes together, i.e. Bullying and harassment to NHS staff by other members of NHS staff and the second issue of violence to NHS staff. This joining together is already expressed in the posts on this forum and provides a confused narrative.. 

What would you like to happen to help you work without fear of bullying, discrimination or violence?

Therefore, the potential solutions to these problems are disparate and require different approaches.

Firstly, the NHS is a classic hierarchical organisation where bullying will persist. Everything within the NHS re-enforces the hierarchical political and social capital held by those in power and allows for the 'us and them' culture to happily prosper. Just because an individual are on a higher band or un-banded like our 'god-conflex' medical staff does not make their opinions anymore valid but unfortunately the hierarchical model demonstrates this repeatedly.

Secondly, violence to staff is a culture issue with complex multi-directional root causes. It does not need simple slogan solutions. It needs a consistent approach that can address these issues engaging all stakeholders. The problem is at present the funding of security is limited so the resources are spread thin and staff feel let down by the organisational responses to violence directed to NHS staff. It needs clinical and non-clinical to work together consistently, with strong support from senior management, to be able to deliverable outcomes. Not false promises that prosecutions will be the result of every attack on NHS staff. That is not actionable within the criminal justice framework and is not understood by clincial staff.        

Adam DHSC 9 months ago

Thank you for your comments Ian.

Indeed the issues are separate although the way in which this impacts and makes staff members feel can sometimes be similar.

You will see that the secretary of state has written specifically on violence toward heatlhcare staff - and his clampdown on violence -

Beverley has spoken about bullying and harrassment - and the Secretary of state has written in response specifically about bullying -

Please do join these conversations and keep the ideas coming!


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Paul Deemer 9 months ago

I think Ian is right actually Adam. The two issues do often get conflated together. And i would also actually challenge your assertion that the feelings they engender in staff are similar. I think this assumption is why they often get conflated. But the reality is that they engender very different emotional responses in people. Violence breeds fear, anxiety and panic. The majority of bullying and harassment is subtle, insipid and sometimes almost invisible (except to the person on the receiving end). So the response (by the recipient) is often less marked and immediate and more "lingering" (if that makes sense). A bit like a dripping tap in your head that you can't switch off. I hope that makes sense. Happy to be challenged back if you think I've missed the point.

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Adam DHSC 9 months ago

Thank you Paul. That is helpful and I did not mean to infer they are the same.

They have been grouped together as the absence of them (i.e. violence and bullying) allows someone to feel safe at work and means that staff feel and are able to work better in that knowledge.


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