Half of Hawkes Bay DHB bullied, harassed

5:13 pm on 1 June 2018

More than half the staff at Hawke's Bay District Health Board say they were bullied or harassed at work last year.

Doctor, nurse of other health worker filling out medical form

Photo: 123RF

The figures come from a 1425-strong survey undertaken by the DHB in September 2017.

Fifty-five percent responded 'likely' or 'highly likely' to the statement: "I have personally experienced bullying and harassment in the past six months".

Two-thirds said they had experienced some form of discrimination, half said they did not feel safe to speak up about inappropriate behaviour and 84 percent said they had felt scared.

Read RNZ's investigation into bullying allegations at Tauranga Hospital here.

The DHB said said the survey was undertaken so it could understand the extent of the issues.

People and quality director Kate Coley said all staff had the opportunity to respond, and could do so anonymously if they wanted.

"The DHB recognised it was no different to any other large organisations where some staff might not feel comfortable coming forward, or were unaware they were being bullied," she said.

Almost 250 ideas from staff on how to improve the working environment were based around better rostering and adequate staffing numbers.

Ms Coley said the DHB was working to recruit more staff.

"In response to the survey and the information collected there has been a steady drive to create change. The DHB announced, in November last year, it would spend an additional $1 million to increase its nursing workforce by introducing 17 new full time equivalent nursing roles. The majority of the roles will be filled by the end of this month."

Other ideas from staff included more recognition, appreciation and a reduced workload.

Ms Coley said since the survey the DHB had introduced fitness and relaxation classes, as well as in-house massages.

The survey also found most staff felt their work was valued and 90 percent said they thought it made a difference to people.