2,000 respond to ambulance trust harassment survey

The East of England Ambulance service board met for the first time since the CQC report. Photo: EEAS

The East of England Ambulance service board met for the first time since the CQC report. Photo: EEAST - Credit: EEAST

A review is being carried out into into all sexual harassment cases over the last two years at the region's ambulance trust.

The East of England Ambulance Trust was put into special measures in September after a Care Quality Commission report detailed that bullying was "normalised" and staff not empowered to raise concerns.

As part of its culture improvement plan, the trust conducted a workplace harassment survey which received more than 2,000 responses from staff.

The findings were published and discussed at its board meeting on Wednesday.

At the meeting Louise Ludgrove, organisational coach, said: "Those messages are two-fold. The first is to say we want to make it very clear to every person who works within the trust that if you are being bullied or harassed we want you to speak up.

"If you see other people being bullied or harassed we want you to speak out against it and if you are bullying or harassing others - to put it simply, we want you to stop.

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"The supporting message to that is one case of harassment is too many."

In a separate report to the board, the trust's Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) guardian reported 57pc of concerns heard in the recent quarter were in relation to bullying, harassment, as well as consistency of trust processes.

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Those who raised concerns said there was a lack of trust in some levels of management and more than 50pc of staff wanted their identity to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.

The FTSU scheme had seen an 800pc increase in concerns in comparison with the second quarter of the year, which was partly attributed to staff feeling able to speak up due to the workplace survey, the meeting heard.

The report added there were six reasons staff did not feel comfortable raising concerns, including: concerns friendships or cliques affected investigations; fear of being ostracised; their concerns would not be dealt with or well-received by managers.

Tom Davis, acting chief executive, said: "There has been a significant focus not just on the individuals who are concerned about their anonymity but the people around them that may be the barrier to them speaking up.

"Many of the actions are addressing both aspects rather than putting the emphasis on the person to identify themselves."

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