Bullying creates toxic NHS culture
A culture of bullying and secrecy has created a “toxic working environment” in the NHS- doctors warn.
The British Medical Association annual conference heard how a proper system of regulation needed to be introduced for managers so they could be held to account.
This idea has already been put forward by the Francis Inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal- but so far ministers have resisted such a move.
Ministers in this government and the last have set out dismantle the network of district general hospitals across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to doctors.
Speaking at the British Medical Association, surgeon Anna Athow said this government and the previous Labour administration had become obsessed with creating super-hospitals with huge catchment areas.
She said 32 hospitals had been closed or downgraded as ministers in the coalition and past Labour government had launched a “war of attrition” stripping them of their A&Es, maternity units and paediatric departments.
Delegates at the conference in Edinburgh voted in favour of a motion critical of the way hospitals were being closed.
Addressing the meeting of doctors in Edinburgh, which voted in favour of a motion calling for a regulation system for managers, GP Dr Peter Holden criticised the way managers were operating in the health service.
He said there was a “culture of secrecy, covert bullying and gagging clauses. The result is the perfect toxic professional working environment for this explosive mixture to generate disaster such as Mid Staffordshire which did so much harm to patients.”
He added: “We all know of managers who abuse Care Quality Commission and General Medical Council procedures to bully doctors.”
Doctors also complained about the increasing pressures that were being placed on them.