'Internal processes' begin at Forth Valley Royal Hospital following bullying investigation at A&E department

A number of “internal processes” have been launched at Forth Valley Royal Hospital (FVRH) in the wake of allegations that emergency department staff were bullied by management.

By Jonathon Reilly
Monday, 19th July 2021, 10:49 am
Updated Monday, 19th July 2021, 1:07 pm

NHS Forth Valley (FV) confirmed action is being taken after the UNISON union’s Forth Valley Health branch and the Royal College of Nursing flagged up the claims.

An independent probe produced 45 “wide-ranging recommendations” on ways of improving governance at the Larbert facility.

NHS FV refused to say if staff had been suspended but a spokeswoman said: “A number of internal processes are under way, however, we are unable to comment further to protect staff confidentiality.

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NHS Forth Valley confirmed "internal processes" have begun at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in connection with allegations of accident and emergency department staff being bullied by management. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“Any action taken is carried out in line with national NHS Scotland policies and procedures.”

It also emerged bosses were made aware in 2018 of a hostile working environment at FVRH’s A&E department.

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At the time, Scotland’s then chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, visited the hospital and was informed of conflict between doctors and leading nurses.

Ms Calderwood recommended FVRH chiefs took note of other hospitals’ ways of operating.

NHS FV said ­Calderwood attended the hospital in October 2018 and “put forward a small number of recommendations which were fully addressed at that time”.

However, a review last week revealed tensions were so high they caused an “irretrievable breakdown of necessary working ­relationships”.

The news broke just days after FVRH celebrated its tenth anniversary.

The review said the bullying of staff took place over a “prolonged period”, with employees claiming the problems originated years ago.

How nursing staff were treated was among the main issues highlighted to those involved in the investigation, however, complaints regarding doctors feeling intimidated were also made.

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