Bullying and Harassment of NHS staff top of the agenda for RCM at STUC

on 15 April 2019 Caring For You campaign Bullying and Harassment

Shifting the culture of bullying and harassment and ensuring dignity at work for NHS staff in Scotland are the subjects of The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) motions at the STUC which gets underway in Dundee, Scotland today.

An RCM Caring for You campaign member survey found over half of RCM members had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from service users or their families in the last 12 months and a third reported being on the receiving end of this from a manager.

The RCM’s second STUC motion is focused on ‘Best Start’ which is the five year plan for improving maternity and neonatal services in Scotland.  The RCM welcomed this policy and believes if implemented correctly could improve care and outcomes for women and their families, but warns it requires a major shift in maternity services and in how midwives and maternity support workers work.

The STUC 122nd Congress runs from Monday April 15th – Wednesday April 17th.

Commenting, Dr Mary Ross-Davie RCM’s Director for Scotland said; “Workplace culture significantly affected by demands on staff and how staff are treated has a direct effect on patient care, equality in the workplace is fundamental to reducing inequalities in care.

 “While we acknowledge the laudable aims of programmes such as the ‘I Matter’ approach to team building in the NHS in Scotland, we have to hold employers to account to ensure words are turned into action and bullying and harassment are eradicated from the NHS”

 On the RCM’s second motion on Best Start, Dr Mary Ross- Davie says; “The proposed new model of maternity care in Scotland is built around continuity of carer’. This means that a woman receives their care from a midwife who they know, from antenatal right through the birth. RCM Scotland has argued over the last two years that we need the right conditions and staffing levels for these changes to be safely implemented.

 “RCM’s lobbying has led to £12 million of ring-fenced funding, increased student midwife numbers and a review of the midwifery workforce planning tool and as the policy is implemented the RCM wishes to ensure that the Scottish Government and Health Boards approach this process in the true spirt of partnership working.

 “While many of our members are keen to work in this way, a significant number of our members are concerned about the demands of being on call and the potential impact on their work life balance of this model of care.  Midwives will need time, training and support to feel confident to work in different ways. Midwives’ needs for adequate rest and time off must be respected in any model of care.   The pace of change should not be forced, implementation of such a significant change must be undertaken in a measured way, ensuring that lessons from early adopter sites are heeded.

The RCM is committed to supporting equality and diversity in the workplace read more about the RCM’s work herehttps://www.rcm.org.uk/supporting/equality-diversity/

More details on the STUC 122nd Annual Congress are available here: http://www.stuc.org.uk/events/20/122congress

To contact the RCM Media Relations Team call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].



Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/