Lunchtime Live presenter Andrea Gilligan says she is “gobsmacked” at the number of reports of bullying in the HSE she has received over the past 24 hours.
Yesterday, listener Kate contacted the show to say she left the health service altogether after being experiencing bullying in two different roles.
She said one of the experiences was “quite severe” and she left the service because it was impacting on her mental health.
In the 24 hours since, Lunchtime Live has been inundated with reports of bullying from nurses and healthcare workers in the sector.
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“To be honest, I was actually fairly gobsmacked by the response we’ve had to this yesterday and today on the show,” she said.
“The thing is, these people say they’ve been bullied, they’ve gone to their managers to report it – and nothing has been done.
“Other people, in emails today, tell me that they went further up the chain - they went to senior management - and again, nothing happened, nothing changed and nothing was done.
“Others talk about having gone through the actual procedures that the HSE talk about, that they outline, and again, nothing happened.
“So, what’s going on in the health service?”
‘How is nobody talking about this?’
Andrea questioned how the problem could be so widespread with management seemingly unaware of the issue.
“With so many people outlining their experience of being bullied in our healthcare system, how does nobody up the chain - high up the chain - seem to be addressing this or know anything about it?” she asked.
“This is the part I can’t get my head around today.
“If there are this many people; If these emails are all right from our listeners, how is nobody talking about this or addressing it?”
She said it is “absolutely shocking” that the issue is not being dealt with.
“We were all the bunch of people who went out and stood on the front doorstep and did a round of applause and clapped and rightly so for the HSE during the pandemic, well where is the show of support for the healthcare professionals now?” she asked.
“Where is the support for them? Because they all say they are reporting this and nobody is doing anything about it.
“So I am absolutely baffled by this – that over the past 24 hours, this amount of people are getting in touch.”
In a statement, the HSE said: "Any allegation regarding bullying and harassment is taken seriously by the HSE.
"The dignity of employees is of the utmost importance and there are policies in place to reflect the support provided.
"Disciplinary matters are managed at a local level in the HSE and investigation affords the complainant and the person against whom the complaint has been made fair and due process."