They are the life-savers, the care-givers, the people who work under untold pressure to keep us alive and healthy.
But it’s been revealed that hundreds of staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, are working within a ‘toxic’ atmosphere of bullying and intimidation.
Following a nine-month investigation, Professor Duncan Lewis has revealed in his report that some staff were left so low one admitted deliberately cycling in front of a lorry because they couldn’t take any more.
It’s hard to imagine those who choose to go into a caring profession are capable of such behaviour.
And it appears the respect, care and dignity that patients are treated with at the hospital does not extend to colleagues.
Although – horrifyingly – some staff were too scared to speak to Prof Lewis because of reprisals within their department, those who did reported suffering panic attacks, insomnia, anxiety and depression due to inappropriate behaviour.
And what is really worrying is that it starts at the top with consultants apparently discriminating against overseas colleagues and runs throughout the hospital hierarchy with some people reporting they go into work crying every day.
They are shocking revelations and it’s unbelievable that managers have allowed this situation to fester.
According to Prof Lewis’ report, there is a basic lack of civility with staff failing even to say ‘please’ or ‘thank-you’ to each other.
What a shame that this culture of fear has built up in such a world-class hospital which does so much good in our community.
Staff are under great pressure in a difficult environment.
But things must change, and quickly. They need to relearn the basics – how to treat each other with respect and kindness.