The director of nursing at a Welsh health board is set to meet with the family of a nurse who killed herself to discuss claims she was “bullied” at work.
An inquest into the death of mental health nurse Rhian Collins was told she was verbally abused by staff at Cefn Coed Hospital in Swansea, run by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.
“Bullying behaviour of any kind is completely unacceptable”
Following the hearing last week, Gareth Howells, the health board’s new director of nursing, said the organisation was clear that bullying of any kind was “completely unacceptable”.
He said he would personally be meeting with Ms Collins’ family to discuss the issues raised at the inquest held in Swansea.
Ms Collins, who was found dead at her home in March, had struggled to cope with “stress and unsociable hours”, the court was told.
She had appeared “run down and exhausted” in the weeks before she died, according to media reports of the inquest.
“She was being sworn at, bullied and believed she was continually given the worst shifts on the ward”
Investigating officer sergeant Nia Lambley told the inquest the mother-of-two “was having issues at work”.
“She was being sworn at, bullied and believed she was continually given the worst shifts on the ward,” said sergeant Lambley.
Acting senior coroner Colin Phillips concluded that Ms Collins had intended to take her own life.
“There was no third party involvement and no suspicious circumstances. From the evidence, I conclude she intended to kill herself,” he said.
In a statement, Mr Howells said the health board would be exploring the issues raised by the inquest.
“Our hearts go out to Rhian’s family. We offer our sincere condolences for their very sad loss,” he said. “We have made it clear that bullying behaviour of any kind is completely unacceptable.”
“As the new director of nursing, I felt it was important to sit down with them”
He said the health board was in contact with Ms Collins’ family and he hoped to meet them soon. “We are in contact with Rhian’s family and are arranging to meet them,” he said.
He added: “As the new director of nursing, I felt it was important to sit down with them, so we could explore together the issues raised during the inquest into this tragic death – a view shared by the entire health board.”
A spokesman for the health board told Nursing Times that the organisation would not be making any further comment at this time.