Bullying rife at Gladstone Hospital

By KRYSTEN BOOTHbooth@gladstoneobserver.com.au

A CULTURE of intimidation and bullying is eating away at service provision at the Gladstone Hospital.

That was the claim made yesterday by Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham who said staff were taking leave to recover from the emotional abuse.

'There is a culture in Queensland Health and certainly in Gladstone which is one of intimidation and bullying,' Mrs Cunningham said.

'I've certainly had an increase in concerns to my office in the last five years.'

She said one senior manager at the hospital had relocated to Brisbane because of bullying.

Mrs Cunningham said staff feared being disciplined for a breach of the code of conduct if they spoke out.

'The information I've got is that there are a number of people who are on leave because of stress,' she said.

'Some have taken it as recreation leave so it isn't as obvious.'

She recently told state parliament one hospital employee's stress leave had been caused by "a clear history at the hospital of bullying by a previous district manager with documentation of a continuation of that treatment'.

A spokesman for Health Minister Gordon Nuttall said there were avenues available for people to make complaints including the Health Commission being led by Tony Morris QC.

Mrs Cunningham said a lack of state government funding was contributing to ongoing problems.

'I'm still receiving complaints about inappropriate behaviour in Gladstone such as people being admitted to the maternity ward because they won't open up another ward,' she said.

'More money should have been expended (in the state budget) so that these sort of things don't happen.'



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