The NHS is Britain’s greatest treasure. Yet it still harbours a culture of hierarchy where bullying, harassment and appalling training environments go unchallenged. We believe that bullying, and discouraging victims from speaking up, goes hand in hand with a blame culture. Often doctors are shamed into silence, and don’t realise other doctors are struggling just as much as they are. Morale is at an all time low in the NHS, with rates of burnout and sadly, even physician suicide on the rise. DAUK are teaming up with our Royal Colleges as part of a wider NHS anti-bullying alliance and are encouraging doctors to speak about their experiences.
We must break the silence.
The use of non-disclosure agreements is alarming. Often these are sought by NHS Trusts rather than individual victims of bullying or harassment and are used to limit the reputational damage of NHS organisations. Unfortunately, the use of such means to suppress information and prevent victims speaking out, feeds into a culture where bullying and harassment are free to continue.
staff morale and wellbeing
Worryingly, many junior doctors and nurses feel that a degree of bullying from senior colleagues is the norm, and to be expected. This in turn leads to unsafe practices, stress, burnout and to the rise in mental health conditions reported by NHS staff, all of which negatively impact on patients.