Bullying and intimidation still rampant at Canberra Health Services

The Union representing workers at ACT Health, CPSU, has today called on the CEO of Canberra Health Services and the Minister for Health to take action on severe cultural issues still rampant in Canberra Health Services.

CPSU Regional Secretary Madeline Northam said “CPSU members in Health hold grave concerns about the impact cultural issues are having on patient outcomes and on workers in Canberra Health Services.”

“We have had staff at The Canberra Hospital Library make a number of extremely serious allegations about a Director and Canberra Health Services has failed to act appropriately. These allegations include physical intimidation and at least one incident where staff were called into a room, and told by the Director to tell another staff member why they hate them.”

“Workers did the right thing. They reported these issues to Human Resources who conducted a Preliminary Assessment of the matters raised. Shockingly, Canberra Health Services decided against referring this matter to the Professional Standards Unit for an independent investigation. If physical intimidation and meetings about hating staff aren’t enough to warrant a referral, then what is?”

“Given the extensive cultural issues in Canberra Health Services, the CPSU is calling for all Preliminary Assessments in Canberra Health Services to be checked off by an independent representative from another Directorate to ensure a level of transparency that is currently lacking.”

“Library staff play a critical role at the hospital, providing a key service to health professionals and patients. At one point, a Director advised librarians that they weren’t permitted to provide health professionals with more than five journal articles per medical issue. When dealing with a complex case, how is a health professional meant to treat a patient effectively with just five articles? That allegation alone should have been enough to warrant a referral to the Professional Standards Unit.”

“That this sort of behaviour is continuing after the Health Culture Review is astonishing. There is no doubt that the CEO and the Minister are taking cultural change seriously, but this is not filtering down to middle management. Something needs to be done and done quickly.”

/Public Release. View in full here.