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NHS Highland pays out millions to bullied staff

NHS Highland says it expects to pay £3.4m in settlements to current and former staff who have complained of bullying.

Whistleblowers exposed a "culture of bullying" at NHS Highland in 2018. 

A Scottish government-commissioned review suggested hundreds of health workers may have experienced inappropriate behaviour. So far 150 cases have been settled since the start of a "healing process", costing the health board more than £2m.

Whistleblower Brian Devlin told BBC Scotland the scale of settlements made so far was "heartening", but he added that he continued to have concerns about bullying at the health board.

A group of Highlands GPs first complained of a culture of bullying at NHS Highland in September 2018.

Staff said they had not felt valued, respected or supported in carrying out "very stressful work". Others told of not being listened to when raising matters regarding patient safety concerns and decisions being made "behind closed doors".

The review also said that "many described a culture of fear and of protecting the organisation when issues are raised".

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Source: BBC News, 28 September 2021


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