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Whistleblower nurse calls for new body to tackle bullying in NHS

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A nurse who was threatened by colleagues for speaking out about care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust has said bullying remains a “real problem” in the NHS.

Helene Donnelly has told MPs that more than 10 years on from the scandal – commonly known as Mid Staffs – she was still seeing “echoes” of what she experienced happening across the country.

“Although it is in the minority, as we saw at Mid Staffs the results can be absolutely catastrophic”

She called for the development of a national body to improve workplace cultures in the NHS and “stamp out bullying once and for all”.

The inquiry into poor standards of care and deaths at Mid Staffordshire indentified issues around staff behaviour, inadequate staffing levels and skills, and lack of effective leadership and support.

Ms Donnelly told a Health and Social Care Committee hearing today that there were “real negative behaviours” at the trust that created a “real bullying culture of fear and intimidation”.

“There was not a culture that encouraged and enabled staff to speak up and if they did as I did, we were bullied and threatened,” said Ms Donnelly, who now holds the roles of ambassador for cultural change and lead Freedom to Speak Up Guardian at the organisation where she works.

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Source: The Nursing Times

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