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Four in 10 doctors think bullying in the workplace is rife

Bullying is causing ‘lasting harm’ to doctors’ lives and careers, with almost 40% of doctors believing it is a problem in their workplace, according to a BMA report.

The two-year study found that bullying in the workplace was often a reflection of pressures in the system, poor working environments, top-down leadership and a culture that accepts the behaviour as normal.

The report found that:

  • 39% of UK doctors said they believed there was a problem with bullying, undermining or harassment in their main place of work;
  • 65% felt pressure of work was the main reason for bullying taking place;
  • 58% felt it was difficult to challenge, as behaviour comes from the top.

Dr Anthea Mowat, BMA representative body chair and BMA bullying and harassment project sponsor, said: ‘As well as damaging staff, bullying also impacts on patients and the consequences for patient care and safety are serious.’

‘In workplaces where bullying is common, communication and teamwork suffer, and staff are afraid to raise legitimate concerns about patient care or safety.’

Readers' comments (3)

  • It happens everywhere...horrible normal human nature by a significant minority, probably 25% of all Homo sapiens. If done collectively, as a ‘tribe’, it helps people achieve power and money and is more prevalent the higher people are in all organisations.

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  • CQC,GMC,CCG,Patients,hopsitals,appraisal
    defence organisations,media and litigation definately feels like bullying of GPs and medics from here.Oh and a lot of our patient we see are suffering the same as well.This country is a pretty poisonous place at the moment.

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  • @Tony, I agree it happens everywhere but I think it can occur at all levels in an organisation. The "tone at the top" sets cultural norms in their (bad) behaviour but it is passed on down to the front line - bullying by the bullied is not uncommon.

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