Kingston Hospital vowed action after reports of bullying at the Theatres department emerged in an independent annual review.

The data surfaced from an investigation conducted between November 2018 and January 2019 and published last month.

The investigation was commissioned by the hospital leadership after they received reports of bullying at the Theatres department / Day Surgery Unit.

Despite much positive feedback from hospital staff, instances of bullying and discrimination were highlighted in the report.

The report said that 20 per cent of theatre staff came forward for interview and of these 17 stated that there was a bullying culture in the department.

Further, the percentage of staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from staff in the 'last 12 months' (2017-2018) was found to be slightly higher than the median for NHS Trusts.

At Kingston, that figure was 26 per cent, next to 25 per cent as the median for NHS Trusts.

In the report under the subtitle "Areas that need improvement", both "Staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from patients, relatives or the public," and "staff experiencing discrimination" were listed.

The conclusions published towards the report's end highlighted the scale of the problem:

"The rise in staff experiencing discrimination at work (12 per cent in 2015, to 17 per cent in 2017) is a concern but it is good that the Trust have recognised, committed to actions to improve this, and provided measures that can demonstrate change as a result."

Anna Jebb, Associate Director of Operations (Planned Care) commissioned the report, and said that the hospital was taking immediate measures in response.

Ms Jebb said: "We have a ‘zero tolerance’ stance on any form of bullying or harassment. We will be taking immediate steps to start implementing the recommendations outlined in the review as well as taking additional actions that we ourselves have identified.

"All proposed actions will be developed alongside our staff to ensure we are adequately addressing concerns and involving them in solutions. We now have an opportunity to ensure that the positive points that many staff reported on are experienced by all."

Ms Jebb also pointed to the results of a survey reported on by the Surrey Comet previously which showed high levels of staff satisfaction at Kingston Hospital.

That staff survey placed Kingston in the top 10 for NHS trusts nationwide for staff satisfaction levels (7th overall).

Last year (August 2018) Kingston Hospital became the first 'acute' NHS trust in London to be rated as 'Outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission for its overall quality and leadership.

Both the staff survey report and the independent annual review can be found in full at