Staff survey reveals appalling levels of workplace bullying in east Kent hospitals

The Kent and Canterbury

More than 40% of nurses working in east Kent hospitals are victims of bullying, abuse or harassment from other staff, according to the results of a staff survey.

Another 46% of those who responded report being exposed to harassment, bullying or abuse from patients, relatives or the public while working in a hospital.

Meanwhile, only 27% of nurses testify to good communication between senior management and staff while 14% of all staff say they have experienced discrimination at work.

Of the 759 nurses who completed the annual staff survey, 42% reported that they have been victims of bullying, abuse or harassment from other staff.

The East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust insists it will act on the figures and “improve the experience of staff”.

Hospitals trust chief exec Susan Acott

Chief executive Susan Acott said: “Everyone in the trust is working incredibly hard and we are determined to make widespread improvements to the experience of both patients and staff.

“Our monthly inpatient satisfaction survey shows 97% of patients would recommend east Kent’s hospitals to friends or family as a place to be treated.

“We have listened to what staff have said and as a result there will be significant changes to how we do things, including giving clinical staff more say in decisions to improve the quality of care they are able to give.

“We have developed a quality improvement methodology to use across the trust’s services, and to provide training and support to staff working on these improvements. We are looking at ways to increase investment in clinical areas that need to be better resourced.”

Ms Acott says the trust must also deal with numerous other issues if it is to improve.

“Our staff are treating a higher number of extremely frail, elderly and sick people than ever before, often in buildings that are increasingly unsuitable for modern hospital care,” she said.

“The future model of hospital services in east Kent needs to be resolved, with full public consultation, so we can provide patient care that is right up there with the best in the country from centres of excellence that will attract staff and be exciting and enjoyable places to work.”



  1. I attended the public section of the EHKUFT Trust Board meeting last Friday. At this meeting the results of the survey of whether or not staff would want their family members and friends cared for in one of the Trust’s hospitals were discussed. The results given there were not the same as the figures quoted in this article. The Board members were told that the 51% of staff who had completed the survey had stated that 37% would not want their family members and friends care for within the Trust.

    The newly appointed Chair of the Board, Professor Stephen Smith, commented that a return of 51% of staff completing a survey was a good result. The figure of 37% not wanting to have their family members and friends cared for within the Trust however was not. The results indeed put the Trust near if not at the bottom of the table nationally for staff satisfaction in this matter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here