07 September 2008

Endemic bullying

The worst jobsworths in the hospital are in medical staffing. To be fair in Dr Grumble's hospital we now have excellent staff sorting out our rotas in a reasonable manner but it has not always been the case. Below are two posts from desperate junior doctors. The facts are essentially correct but Dr Grumble has changed the details because it would be very damaging if these doctors could be identified. There are quite a few posts like these in doctors' forums. It's a very common problem. It is so common that these doctors cannot be identified amongst the many who are repeatedly bullied in this way. Note how the first post begins "I know it's nothing unusual...." Here it is:

I wouldn't usually add to the forum but I need to rant and there's no-one sympathetic about. I know it's nothing unusual but this kind of stuff really irritates me.

I am getting married next year and I thought it would not be unreasonable to request some annual leave. I emailed medical staffing long before the rota was finalised saying that my wedding was on 2nd August 2009. I spoke to them yesterday - the rota is now final and they will not do anything. Apparently it's my responsibility as a doctor to do the on-calls! Strangely, I am aware of that but I see no reason why my life should be turned upside down because medical staffing are incapable of organising a rota. And I have also been sent a threatening email saying that if I am off sick on either of the days in question, the deanery will be informed.

I hate them....and I cannot believe how many hours I have wasted trying to sort this out.

Is the deanery is complicit in this bullying? Surely not. Below's another one. Notice how this young doctor is also not a forum regular. That shows the desperation.

I've never posted on a forum before so apologise if I do this wrong or have posted in the wrong place. I also apologise if I sound cross. I am cross but mostly upset.

My fiancé and I are both SpRs and got engaged earlier this year and as soon as we had set a date for the wedding set about organising time off. I'll be taking some unpaid leave then so no problems but my fiance will be in acute medicine. We emailed the rota co-ordinator for acute medicine (15 months in advance) who has dutifully been ignoring our emails and phone calls until this week when my fiancé went in to her office (twice) and eventually managed to get a copy of the rota. He's been rostered to work not just during our honeymoon but also on our wedding day itself! The rota appears to be impossible to swap. The co-ordinator doesn't seem to care (although I'm sure if this was her wedding day she'd be off for a month not the 2 weeks we've asked for). Pulling a sicky isn't an option (as 1: its just not in my fiance's nature and 2: i'm sure they'd discipline him and refer him to GMC for bad behaviour). My fiancé has offered to work any other time they want him to just so long as he can have these 2 weeks off.

Does anybody have any advice please? Has anybody been in a similar situation and how did they get round it? Changing the wedding date isn't an option now and to be honest I think 14 months is enough notice. Any help would be gratefully appreciated. Thank you Anna.

Poor Anna. You feel for her don't you. Notice how the GMC and the deaneries are used as threats against these vulnerable young doctors. It is no way to treat a dedicated work force. If you had signed up for the army you would expect it. But outside a war this is unacceptable. But that is the way the NHS now is as an employer. Of doctors anyway. Who allows the jobsworth henchmen to get away with this sort of unacceptable behaviour again and again? Why do the deaneries and the GMC allow their organisations to be used to threaten hapless doctors in this way? Why all the talk of bullying but utterly no action. It's a disgrace.

Dr Grumble realises that he has pinched these posts from a closed forum where the golden rule is that the posts are confidential. But many will know that that particular golden rule has been broken already by very senior people in a much more damaging way. Dr Grumble's intent is good. If anybody thinks he has done wrong say so in the comments and this post will be removed.


Jobbing Doctor said...

Dear Grumble,

I, likewise, have a young doctor whose wedding arrangements have been turned upside down because he wanted to have some inconvenient time off.

Granted, this was over the Christmas Holiday, but even so, he gave the hospital 6 months notice.

They say it can't be done, and he is left in limbo. I will - if we can't get resolution - suggest that he changes this job in the rotation (I will do my best to help him).

I thought this inly happened to Jobbing Doctor: it is clearly endemic.

Is it a coincidence that this excellent doctor is Indian?

It is shameful.

Dr Grumble said...

I doubt that it is anything to do with the fact that he is Indian. It's a pity it is not because then you could get them for racial harassment as well. This happens to us all. If you happen to be an ethnic minority you might think that they have it against your type but the Jobsworth does not discriminate and is happy to make victims of you whatever your race or creed. So it's quite fair in that respect. From their names I would think that both my examples are white.

I think Remedy should tackle this problem. In various forms it has been going on since time immemorial. Options might be limited. Medical staffing departments clearly believe that they can dictate to our junior doctors on these matters but in my view no reasonable employer should prevent you attending your own wedding provided you give sufficient notice.

Of course nobody cares. Those that write articles on the evils of bullying are just feathering their own nests and are part of the problem. There's never any sign of action. They don't pick up these human problems from dnuk, email the doctor concerned and try and sort of the issues with medical staffing the deanery and the GMC. Quite the opposite really. As you well know.

Anonymous said...

Where is the Bma who should be helping these unfotunate colleagues?

Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang said...

Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang
Keyword Kenali Pandeglang
Mohon dukungannya yach....?!
Pandeglang telah hilang Kenali Si Dunia Aneh
Mari bersama Pak Firman yang bekerja di SDIT Nurul Ilmi Medan dalam kontes Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang