Letters

I handed in my notice to Northumbria Healthcare trust about six weeks ago. Working in an environment where staff are not valued for their contribution, concerns are ignored or dismissed, and their right to work unhindered is eroded became totally unpalatable.

This is a trust that cannot handle criticism, seeing it as failure rather than a learning opportunity, and whistleblowers are not tolerated. So staff learn to hold their own counsel and toe the corporate line for fear of repercussion. It is an environment where 'corporate bullying' has insidiously crept in.

In an area like the North East, where job security is hard to come by, this trust manages to hold its disillusioned staff to ransom. Lip-service is paid to ideas such as 'family friendly' policies, flexible working arrangements, staff consultation and contribution.

Trust job advertisements describe an environment far removed from the reality, which is that trust managers are more interested in public corporate image than in what is happening at the grassroots.

These trust managers have a long way to go in attitude and people management before they will be able to deliver an environment that will enhance staff satisfaction and morale.

They fail to understand that increased staff satisfaction can only enhance patient care. Until it truly invests in its staff, the NHS will continue to lose them.

Pay rises are worthless if trust management styles like this prevail.

Over the last 10 months I had been made to feel utterly worthless, put through unnecessary worry and stress about my future and family life, made to feel that 11 years of clinical practice and experience count for nothing, and pushed almost to a mental breakdown.

It has taken managers from outside this trust to rebuild me again and stop me from leaving the profession altogether.

So I decided no longer to prostitute my soul for£19,000. I and my children deserve a better quality of life. I am reclaiming my life - mental, physical, emotional and spiritual - before I am destroyed by a system that does not care.

Rexie Akwei-Howe Widdrington Morpeth Northumberland