Bullying and harassment: Evidence and tools

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Tools and resources

Undermining toolkit, 2015 – One year on from the 2013 Illing report, Reviewing bullying and harassing within the NHS, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) developed a website based toolkit to address the challenges of undermining and bullying behaviour. The toolkit is divided into four sections, proposing the most appropriate interventions that can be used independently in varied situations. View the undermining toolkit on the ROCG website. 

Bullying and harassment, April 2006 – NHS Employers has provided a guidance booklet for the suggested support, policy and procedures for dealing with bullying and harassment. This was created for use as it has been identified from the NHS staff surveys that there was a worrying increase of staff reported bullying and harassment. This free guidance is available from NHS Employers Guidance.

Stop bullying: it’s in your hands, 2006 – This article is an easy to read guide that includes all of the relevant information that you would need to know about workplace bullying; why it happens, recognising its occurrences and what you can do in those situations. Read the full ‘ban bullying at work’ guidance at NHS Employers.

Working with care: improving working relationships in health care, 2005 – The working with care project provides self-assessment tools for health care teams to tackle bullying and harassment in the workplace, by intending to:

  • allow individuals to examine and reflect on their own behaviour
  • encourage positive behaviour and discourage negative behaviour
  • increase understanding and awareness of perceived bullying behaviour.
The link includes detailed information of the tools and how they can be utilised within an organisation, please see Royal College of Nursing.

Dignity at work project – The staff governance include a section on their website for the dignity at work project, which believes that dignity at work extends beyond a workplace free of bullying. It should also relate to a working environment where one feels dignified, valued, and treat with respect in a supportive environment. For more information on NHS Scotland’s work, have a look at the NHS Staff Governance website.

HR Policies Prevention of Harassment and Bullying at Work, December 2007 – The policy statement aims to provide a working environment where individuals can work effectively, confidently and competently. The NHSBSA provide material on the principles and procedures to work by and ensure all complaints are dealt with effectively, as they believe that harassment and bullying at work is completely unacceptable behaviour. Read more on this at NHS Business Services Authority.


Workplace bullying in the UK NHS: a questionnaire and interview study on prevalence, impact and barriers to reporting, July 2013 – This research paper aimed to examine the prevalence and impact of bullying on staff within the NHS. The research included 2950 NHS staff participants and identified an overall prevalence of 20 per cent staff reported having been bullied. Bullying is a persistent problem in healthcare organisations which has negative outcomes for individuals and organisations, to find out more read the full article at Durham University.

Evidence synthesis on the occurrence, causes, consequences, prevention and management of bullying and harassing behaviours to inform decision making in the NHS, February 2013 – This report summarises evidence on the occurrences, causes and consequences of bullying in the workplace and synthesises evidence on interventions that focus on the prevention and management of bullying and harassment. To see the full literature review, visit National Institute for Health Research at Durham University.

Seeking better solutions: tackling bullying and ill-treatment in Britain's workplaces, November 2015 - This discussion paper which is an ACAS study reveals that workplace bullying is on the rise with many people too afraid to talk about it. The research looks at the use of the ACAS helpline for bullying and the calls they receive. For the full discussion visit the ACAS guidance.

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