Health chief apologises to bullied NHS staff

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The most senior healthcare official in Argyll and Bute has apologised to NHS staff in the area who have experienced bullying while at work.

Joanna McDonald also pledged to take action after a report revealed 68 per cent of workers who responded to a survey had been bullied during their time working for the partnership (HSCP).

A report had previously branded the figures ‘deeply concerning’.

The survey, carried out as a follow up to the Sturrock Review into NHS Highland, did not include the 770 Argyll and Bute Council social care staff who work with the HSCP, but Ms McDonald pledged all further research will include those workers too.

Discussion of the report took place at a meeting of the partnership’s Integration Joint Board (IJB) which was conducted via Skype on Wednesday May 27.

Ms McDonald said: ‘I would like to apologise to all staff who have experienced bullying or harassment.

‘Having been here for 20 months, I am really disappointed we haven’t seen the level of improvement we would have liked and staff are experiencing bullying in a way we don’t expect.

‘I have given a commitment that the plan of action will reflect the voices of all those people who have given their experiences in such a brave way.

‘But everything going forward will be across the partnership. I want this to be a partnership people are proud to work for.’

In a report published for the meeting, Ms McDonald also said: ‘It is distressing to see a significant number of our colleagues have experienced bullying and harassment and addressing the implications of this report is our highest priority.

‘We would like to thank those who have responded to the survey for having the bravery to respond.

‘We will work in close partnership with colleagues and stakeholders across all of the organisation to deliver the actions necessary to achieve a culture based upon dignity and respect for each other.’