The recent news about allegations of bullying within Downing Street reawakened my feelings of anger at the bullying that contributed to the ending of my career within mental health services.
The Crisis Team in which I worked were aware of pending service changes and were keen to help begin the process and not leave it to the last minute, as usual. The service manager left a consultation meeting to the last day and gave us 24 hours notice of the meeting taking place. We politely requested the meeting be delayed by a few days to give as many staff as possible a chance to be present. The service manager responded by telling us he wouldn't change the meeting and would consider taking disciplinary action against staff who didn't attend.
We took out a grievance alledging bullying and using the Trust procedure. The investigation was carried out by the service managers line manager who wrote in her report "he (the service manager) admitted threatening to take disciplinary action but had no intention of acting on that threat, therefore it's not bullying".
Surprised and shocked we attempted to use the next stage of the grievance procedure. This was blocked. We wrote detailed accurate letters asking reasonable questions of more senior Trust managers in particular in wanting to understand what bullying is, if it wasn't what we experienced. Needless to say we recieved no answers just sychophantic waffle suggesting that it was our fault in the first place and that we didn't want to engage in "partnership working".
In conclusion I wrote to the chief executive who replied briefly, suggesting I get some counselling.
The real damage was done by creating a poisonous culture of mistrust resulting in dissafected staff leaving, taking with them experience you can't buy. All so a box could be succesfully ticked.
My advice is, sadly, don't trust the Trust.