MP steps up campaign to drive out Arrowe Park Hospital bullies

Wirral Globe - 27 May 2019

MOVES to drive out bullies from Arrowe Park Hospital intensified this week when a prominent MP stepped into the campaign.

Frank Field has written to trust chief executive Janelle Holmes demanding urgent steps must be taken to end the harassment - which some staff say is forcing them to quit the health service.

The Birkenhead MP’s letter follows a series of shocking claims alleging a “toxic” culture of bullying and threats at the hospital.

In response to this, hospital boss Ms Holmes recently sent an email to all members of staff telling them there is “no place” for such behaviour in the organisation.

She also urged anyone with concerns to raise them internally.

But now a nurse has contacted Mr Field saying management claims that the problem is under control are false adding “their zero tolerance policy on bullying isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” She said she “cannot wait to leave the NHS.”

Mr Field’s letter demanding action has been seen by the Globe.

It says: “I am writing to seek your help in connection with a longstanding concern that a number of my constituents have raised with me.

“In recent years I have outlined to your predecessors a series of appalling instances of bullying at Arrowe Park.

“Far from representing one or two isolated examples, these instances have pointed towards a culture of poor practice at the hospital.

“On no occasion have I received a satisfactory response to suggest this culture will be addressed fully or that those responsible will be rooted out.

“Might I please seek from you details of any new measures that will be introduced to address this culture and which, above all else, carries the full confidence of front line staff?”

The email to all staff from chief executive Ms Holmes said: “Many of you will have seen the media posts over the weekend about our organisation and in particular allegations of bullying.

“We all know that bullying and harassment can have a huge impact on the wellbeing of our colleagues.

“It can cause stress, anxiety and a range of illnesses that affect people’s working lives, home life and social relationships.

"We also know that happy staff deliver great patient care which is why there is no place in the organisation for this type of behaviour.”

Ms Holmes continued: “I’m sure you would agree that we want WUTH to be the best place to both give and receive care.

“We want to create an environment where all staff feel supported to speak up and where appropriate behaviours are challenged.

“However, to be able to tackle inappropriate behaviour we are reliant on staff feeling able to raise their concerns.”

The email also urged staff suffering from bullying and harassment to raise it via internal channels.

The channels are: Confidentially with ‘Freedom to Speak Up’ service.

Informally or formally with staff side colleagues.

Informally or formally with CEO or other executive.