Maintain a harmonious team spirit across operations within the NHS
Minimise downtime and the impact of risk to patient care
Reduce or even eliminate the cost of bank staff to your Trust’
Disturbingly, circa 80% of work-related calls to our Workplace Helpline are from the NHS and Public Services sector. Despite this, during 2015/6 (over a 12 month period) we successfully assisted in over 50 Settlement Agreement Cases, working with Employers and Employees across the UK, enabling them to find an amicable resolution to their dispute. Only one of these resolved cases involved the NHS. Simply, the NHS refuses to engage in Conciliation talks and prefers, it seems, to chance their luck to litigation and the tribunal process. This is totally ‘at odds’ with The ACAS Code of Practice and UK Conciliatory processes in place.
Why is the NHS so reluctant to engage in Settlement Agreement talks. Is it really a question of lack of funding or is it poor management. You must be your own judge.
However, in 2016 in the Case of Marks v Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Mrs Marks was awarded £830,000 in compensation in her Sexual Harassment Case involving the CEO of that Trust.
Aug 2012. NHS EMPLOYMENT CHECK STANDARDS: In an outline issued this month, NHS employment checks employers must undertake before appointing staff into NHS positions, across England. The standards apply to permanent staff, staff on fixed-term or temporary contracts, volunteers, students, trainees, contractors and temporary staff supplied by an agency. Trusts appointing agency staff, contractor or other external bodies to provide NHS services will need to ensure that their providers are also in compliance with these standards. For full article see: http://www.nhsemployers.org/RECRUITMENTANDRETENTION/EMPLOYMENT-CHECKS/EMPLOYMENT-CHECK-STANDARDS/Pages/Employment-Check-Standards.aspx
November 2011. COMPLAINTS FROM PATIENTS ABOUT STAFF: An article in the Daily Mail today highlights the level of complaints from patients about staffing attitudes and behaviour within the NHS. Twelve major Trusts are listed as, allegedly, having significant problems with staffing attitudes resulting in formal complaints. We don’t need to name and shame these Trusts here as we want to help, not hinder. We fully appreciate the pressures already placed on our busy, over worked and under resourced NHS service. We understand how customer complaints will impact on the entire team – which in turn may lead to additional, unnecessary, internal stress and work related absence. We need solutions, not criticism.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU: HR & Diversity Management is probably the UK’s leading expert in the field of conflict resolution across the NHS in particular. In general terms we provide specialist support where there are long term absence and stress related issues, resulting in internal grievances or disciplinaries and therefore the need for independent investigations, mediation, diversity training and other dispute resolution services. We have NHS preferred supplier status and work with a number of Trusts across the UK.
We believe we can alleviate some of the internal stresses encountered when dealing with staff and patient conflict. With this in mind, we would very much like to support your organisation at this difficult time. Much of our work over the last 12 years has been in supporting the NHS. This pages is dedicated to this specialist arena of our work. We are committed to helping NHS managers and HR teams identify amicable remedies and resolutions where individuals (or groups of individuals) are in conflict and/or have alienated themselves from other divisions within your Trust. Where there are suboptimal working relationships, stress and risk is always a major factor. Within the NHS this is compounded and the risk to patient care is, quite frankly, not worth taking a risk.
We are familiar with the working culture within the NHS, including NHS policies and procedures and we really do understand just how widespread and serious are the issues of work-relates stress, high absenteeism and turnover of both junior and senior medical staff.
Do not hesitate to call us on 07734 701221 if you feel we can assist you in any way.
COLLUSION: Not many organisations know, but employers are now vicariously liable under The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 for harassment caused by the acts of two or more employees, provided the conduct is linked? (Dawson v Chief Constable of Northcumbria Police. Case ref: 209 EWHC 907 QB). The work we do addresses the risk to your business in this respect, including ways to avoid problematic situations.
TRAINING : Over the years, HR & Diversity Management has assisted the NHS by providing a range of bespoke line manager training programmes. In particular, we have trained entire teams ‘how to’ conduct Disciplinary and Grievance Investigations themselves. We recently delivered an Investigating Training programme for KENT NHS Trust – to a team of HR managers and RCN Representatives.
Ask for a quotation. Ask about our one day diversity workshops. Your managers will be left with the confidence and tools to enable them to conduct an internal grievance & disciplinary investigation.
INVESTIGATIONS : We have also conducted a number of confidential, independent, investigations within ; Medical Records teams, Ophthalmology teams, Pharmacy departments, Operating Theatres, Children’s Wards and within HR & Administrative Teams. We have also worked with a number of NHS Nursing Homes and Hospices. In almost every case, stress and mental health issues have played a significant factor. For further information see our Investigations section.
This work is highly sensitive and confidential but testimonials may be made available upon request.
In cases where we have investigated allegations of bullying or harassment across the NHS there have been one or two common themes. Do any of these sound familiar?
a) High stress levels
b) The alleged bullying has gone on for 2 or 3 years or more
c) The alleged bullying involves an entire team / department or the broader team are said to be affected or implicated in some way
d) past intervention or past internal investigations have failed to produce a satisfactory outcome
e) the aggrieved persons/team feel that their employer (the NHS) is accountable or responsible in some way, for failing to address matters sooner.
The latter concern has very often resulted in the team alienating themselves from the HR Department and the Operational or Management Team within the Trust.
2010 NHS STAFF SURVEY : The 2010 National average of the percentage of staff in NHS Trusts experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse FROM STAFF still remains at 15% overall. According to the National NHS Staff Survey 2010, NHS organisations need much support in areas of Diversity, Bullying at the Workplace, Harassment and Abuse. Staff are apparently being bullied by both ‘their line managers and other colleagues’.
These are not an isolated incidents but pervade the NHS nationwide. Further the number of staff being treated this way is ‘similar to previous years’. This means that current resolution methodologies are not gaining on the problem.
From the experience of HRDM in the NHS, problems lie with line management. Managers seem not to know how to ‘nip disputes in the bud’. HR&DM can show managers how to both recognise the symptoms and then apply a resolution.
In doing this good managers can :
* Keep a harmonious team spirit to operations
* Minimise downtime and the impact to patient care
* Reduce or even eliminate cost of bank staff to their Trust
There is very little doubt that staff being bullied are not carrying out their duties to 100% of their capabilities. Nor are those that are doing the bullying. Hence the need for Bank Staff. This represents a cost to the Trust and over time becomes significant although seemingly unavoidable to those charged with staff population.
Let us assume an average staff member earning £20,000 per annum is being bullied and his/her output is reduced by say only 10%. This is £2000 per annum. Let us look at a Trust Hospital with 1000 employees. 15% is 150 staff. £300,000 per annum could be saved by this ‘average’ NHS Trust, of course plus the cost of Bank Staff.
The cost of 1 days training pales to insignificance in the light of such savings.
Any or every NHS Trust should do the sums for their situation and then call us to help them save a not insignificant amount of money.
Outside of this, HR & DM has investigated many situations in the NHS, most when the Trust is in litigation. This is too late, money has been spent. An earlier call to HR&DM will save litigation costs – especially when the average minimum cost of a Tribunal hearing, before the award, is between £16,000 and £20,000
It will cost you NOTHING to call us !