GMB call for bullying and harassment at SECAmb to be addressed

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GMB, the Union for Ambulance staff, are calling for direct intervention and action and comment by the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, in seeking to clarify his and the government’s position on the disturbing events at SECAmb and apparent exemption from punishment and promotion of those proven to be responsible.

SECAmb senior managers need to be fully investigated in light of The Telegraph revelations on prevalent and organised bulling which has seen GMB members and SECamb staff suffer at the hands of a seemingly unaccountable select management team, who have been protected by ex-Chief executive Paul Sutton. [see notes to editors for The Telegraph report]

Gary Palmer GMB regional organiser said:

“Despite the outcome of several enquires and investigations having named individual managers responsible, not only in orchestrating a systemic bulling culture at the trust, but them subsequently covering up and protecting those responsible for horrific and cowardly but devastating acts of bullying and harassment upon staff at Coxheath have not only not had action taken against them as recommended, but have enjoyed promotions and impunity.

“This is an absolute disgrace, workplace bulling is bad enough at anytime, but the scale and intensity of the bullying endured by staff at Coxheath is shocking even now.

“This has been further compounded when those treated so badly, bravely sought the support and protection of their employer to seek redress, only to find out that the very top of the organisation were hell bent on covering up and shielding the very bully’s who should have been brought to account and dismissed.

“The trouble is that not one of those responsible has faced the consequences of their actions whether still within SECAmb as in Geraint Davies and Dave Hawkins case or currently benefiting as Paul Sutton with his managed move into Public Health England.

“Instead the consequences have all been felt by either those brave enough to bring this matter into the public domain who faced the bullying in the first place or the small group of honest management who tried to investigate and see the right outcome for the good of the trust and staff.

“That’s just not right and it must be addressed.”

Paul Maloney, GMB Southern region secretary, said

“This has been rumbling on for 2 years with fudge after fudge, cover ups and protection of the perpetrators.

“This Ambulance service whose catchment area covers the constituencies of the transport minister, Chris Grayling, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd and Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, as well as other prominent conservatives including Michael Gove, Damien Green, Michael Fallon and Nicholas Soames proves that political undermining of staff in the NHS goes to the root of government. [see note 2 for full list of MP’s whose constituencies cover SECAmb area]

“I welcome the investigation by The Daily Telegraph which now must be followed up with a clear out of the culprits who have used the NHS to destroy employees lives and endanger public lives to further their own careers.

“Staff have been ignored for years. Why does it take attempted suicides to bring these matters to a head whilst government legislation cripples the NHS through regulation and lack of funding?

“I can’t imagine how many tens of thousands of pounds has been spent on flawed investigations, sickness, suspensions and dismissals only to protect a jackboots regime.

Contact: Gary Palmer on 07552 165950; Paul Maloney on 07801 343839 or Michelle Gordon on 07866 369259

Notes to editors

1) The Telegraph, 13 February 2017, Laura Donnelly, Health Editor

2) MP’s whose constituencies cover SECAmb area:
Philip Hammond – Runnymead and Weybridge
Paul Beresford – Mole Valley
Chris Grayling – Epsom and Ewell
Dominic Raab – Esher and Walton
Jeremy Hunt – SW Surrey
Anne Milton – Guildford
Crispin Blunt – Reigate
Kwasi Kwarteng – Spelthorne
Sam Gyimah – Surrey East
Michael Gove – Surrey Heath
Jonathan Lord – Woking
Damian Green – Ashford
Julian Brazier – Canterbury
Tracey Crouch – Chatham and Aylesford
Gareth Johnson – Dartford
Charlie Elphicke – Dover
Helen Whately – Faversham and Mid Kent
Damian Collins – Folkestone and Hythe
Rehman Chishti – Gillingham and Rainham
Adam Holloway – Gravesham
Helen Grant – Maidstone and The Weald
Roger Gale – North Thanet
Kelly Tolhurst – Rochester and Strood
Michael Fallon – Sevenoaks
Gordon Henderson – Sittingbourne and Sheppey
Craig Mackinlay – South Thanet
Tom Tugendhat – Tonbridge and Malling
Greg Clark – Tunbridge Wells
East Sussex
Huw Merriman – Bexhill and Battle
Simon Kirby – Brighton, Kemptown
Caroline Lucas – Brighton, Pavilion
Caroline Ansell – Eastbourne
Amber Rudd – Hastings and Rye
Peter Kyle – Hove
Maria Caulfield – Lewes
Nusrat Ghani – Wealden
West Sussex
Nick Herbert – Arundel and South Downs
Nick Gibb – Bognor Regis and Littlehampton
Andrew Tyrie – Chichester
Henry Smith – Crawley
Tim Loughton – East Worthing and Shoreham
Jeremy Quin – Horsham
Nicholas Soames – Mid Sussex
Peter Bottomly – Worthing West
Ranil Jayawaardena – North East Hampshire
Gerald Howarth – Aldershot