Ambulance staff complain to inspectors about bullying by managers

Whistleblowers at the ambulance service that covers Northamptonshire say they feel discouraged from raising concerns.

Inspectors from the CQC were approached by East Midlands Ambulance Service staff since the November inspection to make complaints, some under anonymity.

The range of issues discussed has been revealed by the trust and includes low staff morale and alleged bullying.

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In all, eleven members of staff raised concerns since the middle of November.

The themes raised are:

- low staff morale, specifically in relation to rotas and additional time off requests from staff on annualised hours rotas;

- late shift finishes;

- allegations of bullying by managers;

- staff feeling discouraged from raising concerns or reporting incidents;

- staff safety;

- misinterpretation of Trust policies in order to restrict what staff are able to do; and

- lack of training and performance appraisals.

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The ambulance service said about half of the contacts were anonymous and therefore the CQC “has not been able to discuss them with staff or investigate further”.

A spokesman said@ “Therefore the CQC has not been able to provide EMAS with any further information in order to enable the Trust to investigate and address the issues.

“These are recognised as areas of concern, some of which were already being addressed by the organisation.”

EMAS said its workforce committee will discuss the issues and decide whether to take any action.

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The spokesman added: “Staff members have been reminded through the weekly Chief Executive’s bulletin of the Trust’s arrangements for raising concerns.

“These include raising these independently from line management, either through the director of quality and nursing or a nominated representative from Healthwatch.

“They have been encouraged to raise concerns internally through these mechanisms.”