The Health Workers Union is concerned by bullying allegations at the Beaufort and Skipton Health Service.
HWU secretary Diana Asmar said the union has recently received several calls from members at the service’s Beaufort Hospital in relation to bullying.
“We’ve been through this with Ballarat Health Services,” Ms Asmar said.
“Unfortunately there appears to be a similar pattern of workplace bullying developing.
“Bullying is a safety issue. It is not just unacceptable in the workplace – it is illegal.”
Beaufort and Skipton Health Service chief executive officer Trevor Adem said they were taking the bullying allegations very seriously.
“We maintain an ongoing commitment to responding and investigating the circumstances surrounding any claim to ensure that acceptable workplace behaviours are being observed at all times,” Mr Adem said.
“Ongoing processes are treated confidentially so individual circumstances are unable to be discussed.”
Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the Department of Health and Human Services had been in contact with the Beaufort and Skipton Health Service board regarding the allegations.
She said the board was aware of the allegations and were taking the concerns very seriously and working to address the issue raised.
“(DHS) will monitor the progress of the board’s management and investigation of these allegations,” Ms Hennessy said.
“If necessary, the department will deploy its independent, anti-bullying specialists to provide further support and put in place strategies to stamp out bullying and improve workplace culture at Beaufort and Skipton Health Service.
“I have been very clear that I have zero tolerance for bullying and harassment in our health system, and it is my expectation that all of our healthcare workers are able to do their jobs in a safe and respectful environment.”
It follows two damning reports into Ballarat Health Services released on August 4 which showed a culture of workplace bullying, particularly in the mental health units.
New BHS chief executive officer Dale Fraser and the board of management have pledged a cultural change, including a board and executive capability audit, an organisational structure review, a complaints manager position and enhanced training of all staff, including workplace behaviour.
Ms Asmar urged any Beaufort Hospital employees affected by workplace bullying to carefully document and date all instances of bullying and to report it to their occupational health and safety representative or the Health Workers Union.
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