WORKFORCE: A third of staff employed by Gloucestershire Care Services Trust have experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from patients and their relatives, a survey reveals.

The study, recording the experiences of staff at the community trust throughout 2013, also found that 13 per cent of employees had been subjected to physical violence from patients, their relatives or members of the public, four percentage points above the national average for NHS community providers.

Non-physical bullying and harassment was encountered by 33 per cent of staff over the period, six percentage points above the national average for community trusts.

The staff survey, which received responses from 444 out of the 790 staff, also found that 39 per cent of the workforce suffered from work-related stress during the course of the year. This compares favourably with an average of 43 per cent among their counterpart organisations.

Less than a quarter of those who responded to the questions reported ‘good communication’ between senior management and staff, at 24 per cent. This contrasts with a national average figure of 29 per cent among the 20 trusts audited.

The report, presented to the board on 20 May by trust human resources director Tina Ricketts, also showeed that 70 per cent of trust staff worked extra hours. This is one percentage point lower than in the previous year but still eight percentage points above the national average.

The survey was conducted by Quality Health on the trust’s behalf and took place during the between October to December 2013.

The survey was anonymous and results cannot be attributed to individuals.