Carstairs State Hospital staff bullying claims total 14

Eleanor Bradford for BBC Scotland reports 7th September 2015: Carstairs State Hospital staff bullying claims total 14

When stories such as this become public, readers can be assured that there are many more cases of bullying, and that a silently “gagged” majority remains under the surface.

There have been 14 claims of bullying by staff at the State Hospital in Carstairs in just five years, BBC Scotland can reveal.

The complaints were lodged under the facility’s “Dignity at Work” policy.

The hospital says the percentage of bullying allegations has reduced over the past few years.

About 700 staff work at Scotland’s highest security psychiatric hospital, caring for up to 140 patients.

Scotland’s Minister for Mental Health Jamie Hepburn is due to visit the facility later as part of its annual review.

The hospital has been dogged by a series of controversies.

‘Danger money’

Its chief executive, Andreana Adamson, stepped aside from her role following an outcry over financial payments to board members.

They were awarded payments totalling £50,000 as so-called “danger money” for working in a high-security environment, despite the fact they did not come into contact with patients.

Board members are still receiving the payments.

A report commissioned by the chair of the board was released on the Friday before Christmas 2013 – when it was likely to receive less public scrutiny.

It was removed from the hospital’s website after just six months.

The author, Prof Jim McGoldrick, found no evidence of fraud or serious misconduct, but criticised the board’s handling of the issue.

He also expressed concern about bullying and said it was a “running theme” during his investigations.

In response, the board said it would lead work to change “cultures and behaviours” at the hospital.

In a statement, the hospital said: “The State Hospital’s Zero Tolerance to Bullying and Harassment campaign has a clear objective of telling people that it is safe to complain.

“Any issues raised are addressed promptly and professionally. Dignity at Work remains a high priority for the board and we aspire to meet the aims of the staff governance standard whereby everyone in The State Hospital is always treated with dignity and respect.

“While the percentage of bullying allegations has actually reduced as a result of the various measures put in place over the past few years, we recognise that we need to continue in partnership with staff-side colleagues, to address any issues of bullying and harassment within the workplace to ensure all staff are treated with dignity and respect.”

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Consultants, Gagging, Professionals, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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