26 / 01 / 2009
NHS East of England
Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Trust achieved Foundation Trust status in 2006. It provides healthcare services to around 300,000 people in Luton, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and parts of Buckinghamshire and employers 3.400 staff. Around 28 per cent of Luton's population are from cultural and ethnic minority backgrounds.
The campaign aimed to:
- ensure that all staff are valued and respected at work
- reduce the number of staff stating they had experienced harassment and bullying in the staff survey, but not reporting it to the trust as outlined in the hospital's policy
- ensure all staff are aware of the trust policy and procedures on harassment and bullying
- give staff the skills to deal with incidents of harassment or bullying
- ensure that staff are aware of the available support at work including confidential advisers, mediators, managers, HR and occupational health
The trust carried out a comprehensive review of its harassment and bullying policy with support from the executive team and equalities committees. It then recruited and trained six staff to be confidential advisers/mediators.
The trust launched the policy with:
- laminated posters about the service, including the confidential advisers and how staff can access them
- a presentation for staff on harassment and bullying, and the trust policy, and details in the staff magazine
- training for senior ward staff and managers, and general, two-hour awareness sessions open to all staff
- a ban bullying at work day
The next staff survey showed a one per cent reduction in the number of staff reporting harassment and bullying. More importantly, staff are now accessing confidential advisers and reporting harassment or bullying in line with policy and not just reporting it in the annual staff survey.
Staff are now aware of what constitutes harassment or bullying and are encouraged to reflect on their own attitudes and actions.
Following the success of the first campaign, the trust agreed to re-launch it at its Equality Counts event that included a 'Put your hand print where it counts' initiative. All staff were invited to put their hand print onto a large 'paper' wall to signal their support and commitment to ban bullying at work.
Other trust activity includes:
- training more confidential advisers and communicating their details, including contact numbers, to staff
- revising harassment and bullying training to reflect the Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) structure - it is now part of the evidence required for KSF dimension 6 Equality, Diversity and Rights and training is broken down to make it practical for the various Agenda for Change bands
- Continuing the ban bullying hand print campaign as part of the ban bullying at work day in November 2007. Activity included placing confidential advisers outside the staff restaurant to brief staff on the trust's support services and inviting staff to 'sign' up with their handprints
Lesley Grierson-Hill, senior manager, development and diversity, Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Trust firstname.lastname@example.org