WORKFORCE: An acute trust plans to open a 24-hour helpline for its staff after almost 30 per cent reported being bullied by colleagues and managers.

Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Foundation Trust made the decision after 28 per cent of its employees who responded to the 2013 NHS staff survey reported experiencing abuse from managers and other staff in the 12 months to last October.

This compares with 23 per cent of staff experiencing workplace bullying from colleagues or line managers nationally.

Bosses at the £250m turnover trust have also produced a draft version of a bullying awareness booklet, which they aim to distribute to hospital managers, according to recent board papers.

Separately, 30 per cent of the 465 trust staff who responded to the survey reported that they had experienced bullying and harassment from patients and members of the public over the same period.

This compares with 29 per cent of NHS staff nationally.  

The trust, which employs approximately 3,660 staff, is exploring the possibility of buying the reporting line service from the company Care First, which already provides the organisation’s employee assistance programme.

Board documents disclose that the company offered the trust a quote of £4,700 a year to provide the bullying phone line.

The trust has resolved to organise more diversity training sessions for staff after ten per cent of those who responded to last year’s staff survey reported experiencing discrimination from managers, team leaders or other colleagues.

Eight per cent of survey respondents nationally reported that they had experienced discrimination at work from other colleagues.

A trust spokeswoman said: “Since the national staff survey was carried out …we have introduced a ‘Staff Impressions’ survey…where we also ask a number of additional questions about their work experience.

“We have asked the same staff survey question around experiences of bullying and harassment in the past 12 months. Our latest survey for June shows that 20 per cent have, so we are already seeing a decrease, with 739 members of staff responding to the June survey.”