Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has expressed his “deep alarm” at a rise in bullying cases in NHS Tayside.
Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives through Freedom of Information Requests show that there has been a near 50% increase in the number of bullying cases in the NHS in Scotland over the last five years.
In Tayside, the number of bullying cases rose from 11 in 2017-18 to 35 in 2021-22, a staggering rise of 218%. The figures also show that bullying cases in Tayside rose from 18 in the 2020-21 financial year to 35 in the 2021-22 financial year – an increase of 94%.
Mr Fraser says there is a never a justification for bullying and intimidation in the workplace and says that anyone on the receiving end will only see their mental health suffer further after the stresses of the pandemic. He says that workplace culture comes from the top, which ultimately means Health Minister Humza Yousaf must get a grip on the increase seen in Tayside.
Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “The rise in bullying cases within Tayside is deeply alarming and completely unacceptable.
“Nobody in Tayside, or in any workplace, should be subjected to intimidation or bullying.
“We are already suffering from a shortage of frontline staff across Tayside, so a rise in bullying cases is the last thing we need as we try to urgently recruit and retain staff. These cases will have had a damaging effect on the mental health of staff in Tayside who are already completely overwhelmed due to the pandemic.”
Mr Fraser continued: “Bullying can never be tolerated and there must be proper, open procedures to allow people to speak out without fear of repercussions.
“Humza Yousaf must ensure that culture runs through Tayside and give them all the resources they need.”