Dignity at work in Scotland
Up to £200,000 will be made available to health boards to fund projects that tackle bullying and harassment in the workplace, it was announced today.
The funding will be to further expand the ‘dignity at work toolkit', which aims to make sure that all NHS staff feel valued, are being listened to and are being treated with respect.
Health Secretary Alex Neil made the announcement ahead of the ‘Whistleblowing - raising concerns within the NHS Scotland' conference, which is joint funded by Scottish Government and the Scottish Patients Association.
Mr Neil is also expected to confirm in his conference speech that NHS Scotland does not support or condone ‘gagging orders' on staff who raise any concerns about patient safety.
Mr Neil said:
"Across our NHS much has been done to tackle bullying and harassment in the workplace.
"However, feedback suggests that bullying and harassment may still be an issue across our workplace.
"I am very clear that we will not tolerate bullying of any kind in our NHS. It is not good for our hardworking NHS staff and it is not good for patients.
"Also it is vitally important that all NHS workers feel that they can raise any concerns they may have safely and confidentially, and following the Francis Inquiry, be reassured that health boards will listen.
"By encouraging staff to raise concerns, Scotland's Health Boards have the opportunity to identify potential problems at an early stage. This not only makes the NHS a better place to work, it also leads to a better health service for patients.”
A free, confidential phone line for NHS staff who wish to raise any concerns about practices in NHSScotland is currently being piloted.
The Alert Line provides a safe space for staff to discuss and report any concerns they may have about patient safety and malpractice in the knowledge that their identity will be protected.
The Health Secretary wrote to all health boards on 22 February 2013 reminding them that confidentiality clauses are not used to prevent staff reporting concerns about practice in the NHS in Scotland.