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NHS stalking policy drawn up after staff followed

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Scotland’s largest health board has said it had started to draw up a policy on stalking after staff had been followed, photographed and harassed.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which employs more than 44,000 people, said it would be the first health board in Scotland to introduce such a policy.

The health board said there had been a “number of incidents” where doctors, nurses and other hospital staff had been followed, secretly photographed and harassed over a period of time with physical damage to their property.

The health board could not say exactly how many staff had experienced stalking because, at the moment, not every incident is logged.

However, the new policy will highlight stalking incidents so that action can be taken.

A working group, which includes the Strathclyde Police domestic abuse task force, has been set up to create new procedures to tackle stalking of NHS staff in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Dr Anne MacDonald, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at the health board and a member of the working group, said: “It is totally unacceptable that any of our staff should have to face and endure the trauma of being stalked and our stance is very much one of zero tolerance to this kind of abuse.”

Possible actions to support staff who are being stalked include mentoring and training line managers to recognise and manage the risk.

The working group has also looked at a “buddying-up” system when a member of staff is at work and the possible use of GPS tracking technology.

A spokeswoman for the health board said NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde already had in place “robust” violence and aggression and domestic violence policies and guidance for staff working on their own, including during home visits.

The policies include offering special mobile phones linked to a 24-hour manned call centre for staff who may be at heightened risk.

The stalking policy could be completed and introduced before the end of the year.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • In light of these findings it is very disturbing that despite several requests for more parking spaces closer to the areas of work ie not outside hospital grounds out of sight and earshot of place of work, healthcare workers are continually put at risk of danger from stalkers and others on their way to work to care for others. Summer may be here but dark mornings and dark early evenings are all too close. Many staff have to park a good 10 to 15 minutes walk away from there workplace which is ludicrous considering half of the underground parking at the New Victoria Infirmary for example is left empty to be used by permit holders and visitors many of whom who for no particular reason for the past 18 months seem to uptake the opportunity to occupy these spaces. So I say risk management is the buzz phrase used by many but actions speak better than words, reduce risks, keep staff safe, keep them close to help not 10-15 minutes away hidden and open to stalkers.

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