Health chiefs in Forth Valley have stressed that bullying “will not be tolerated” in response to claims that it is a widespread problem experienced by doctors across the country.
Dr Lewis Morrison, head of BMS Scotland, revealed that a recent survey by the medical trade union found 38 per cent of doctors found bullying and harassment an issue in their workplace.
He said: “Doctors have told us that bullying and harassment is still widespread and recent high-profile cases only serve to underline those concerns.
“Every single case will have a serious impact on the doctor concerned. It threatens to undermine them and prevent them from focusing on patients.
“It is also worth reflecting on the view of many doctors that the high-pressure environment, focused on targets that are often simply unattainable within current resources, is having a negative impact on workplace cultures – at every level.”
Dr Morrison said greater efforts were needed to ensure doctors can speak about bullying without fearing for their careers.
BMA Scotland will carry out work in 2019 to further investigate doctors’ experience of bullying and harassment and a summit of key stakeholders has been arranged for next summer.
Dr Morrison said: “We will be hoping for a similar commitment, both from the government and across NHS management and welcome the positive indications they have already made on this agenda.”
An NHS Forth Valley spokeswoman said: “ NHS Forth Valley has The welfare of our staff and the service we provide to patients is very important. We firmly believe that if we get it right for our staff we will get it right for our patients and for our communities.
“NHS Forth Valley defines bullying as behaviour which makes the recipient feel upset, threatened, humiliated or vulnerable, undermines their self confidence and causes them to suffer stress or anxiety.
“Bullying is not tolerated and strict procedures are in place to investigate all allegations in a timely and sensitive manner.
“The board also operates a whistle blowing policy. Examples that should be raised include an unacceptable standard of patient/clinical care, disregard for legislation particularly in relation to health and safety at work and a breach of a code of conduct.
“The Board does not tolerate any harassment or victimisation of staff using this policy.”