Official healing process to start for victims of bullying at NHS Highland
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Current and former NHS Highland staff are now being invited to formally register their interest in engaging with the so-called healing process for victims of bullying.
A dedicated website, email address and telephone number have been established which the board says will be administered by an independent partner.
NHS Highland chairman, Professor Boyd Robertson, said: "I am delighted to confirm that the NHS Highland board has approved the start of the Healing Process, which forms an important part of our response to the Sturrock Report.
"We have been unequivocal in our support of those who have experienced bullying and harassment.
"The whole board stands four-square behind the victims of bullying and we reaffirm that we are deeply sorry for the harm that has been caused.
"The Healing Process will be widely and easily accessible via a bespoke website and we would encourage current or former colleagues who want to discuss concerns about their experience of bullying and harassment while they were employed at NHS Highland to engage with the process.
"The Healing Process has been co-produced with colleagues, trade unions and whistle-blowers and I want to thank everyone who has invested their time to work with us in developing this approach.
"We want to continue to develop a culture where every member of staff feels listened to, valued and respected."
Funded by the Scottish Government, the healing process offers former and current employees of NHS Highland an independent process which will include four options: being heard; an apology; access to psychological therapies and access to an independent review panel with discussions being held remotely in line with Covid-19 social distancing requirements.
Participants can opt for more than one option.
The process is open for current and former employees who had experienced bullying in the period up to and including December 31, 2019.
The health board says that, for those who are not eligible or who choose not to access the process, there are a number of other ways in which they can access support, including an Employee Assistance Programme which was launched earlier this month.
The website can be accessed at: https://www.healing-process.co.uk
The email address is email@example.com and the telephone line is 03333 445 892.
Launch of the process has been welcomed by Highlands and Islands Labour MSP David Stewart.
"I have been pursuing how people can use this process to lodge their cases following concerns from a number of constituents," he said.
"Despite the challenges of Covid-19, this will allow the many people who have contacted me to register and to link up either virtually or by a meeting which uses social distancing.
"There are many who have lost or left their jobs, and in some cases had their careers ruined, and will be unable to go to an industrial tribunal due to a time-bar on cases and unable to afford a civil case.
"This is a long-awaited step to getting some sort of closure and perhaps compensation for many who have been badly affected by their experiences."
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