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Wednesday, 6 December, 2000, 09:18 GMT
Bullying 'ruining NHS workers' lives'
Porter
Harassment is 'widespread' in the NHS
Many NHS workers feel their lives are being ruined because of bullying at work, according to a survey.

The research by the GMB union found harassment was widespread in the NHS.

Workers complained of bullying by bosses, patients and even colleagues.


Who wants to work in an organisation rife with bullies?

Sharon Holder, GMB union
The GMB wants a zero tolerance policy introduced to clamp down on the problem.

Over half of the workers who responded to the survey said they had been bullied, and many complained it had affected their health.

Workers told the union they suffered from depression, high blood pressure and sleeplessness because of bullying.

Almost one in three of those who were bullied blamed their boss.

Responding to the survey, an ambulance worker from North Wales, said: "I feel that my self respect and the reason I came into the health service, which was to help others, has all gone. Now it is just another job."

Sharon Holder, the union's national officer said: "These results are particularly disturbing when the NHS is trying to retain existing staff and attract new workers.

"Who wants to work in an organisation rife with bullies? If we are to keep the Health in the National Health Service, bullying and harassment must be stamped out once and for all."

Alastair Henderson, policy manager for the NHS Confederation which represents health authorites and trusts, accepted that bullying occured at all levels within NHS organisations.

He told BBC News Online: "These are clearly very worrying findings. Bullying whereever it takes place is not an acceptable practice."

He said a culture change was needed, with staff organisations and employers working together to stamp it out.

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22 Jan 99 | Health
Bullying on the NHS
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