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freedom to speak up experience

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New role in the NHS, never worked in the NHS before.

I still havent got a laptop or a login so I sat in the admin team office in the morning to do my statutory training online on a hot desk. I am in a clinical role as a trainee, 1st day. The service manager (who is also a clinical professionnal) at some point during the day shouted at one admin team for a mistake she made a few weeks after she started (a month ago). It didn't seem so bad but she really had a go at her and threatened her that if she was going to make the same mistake, she would give her a disciplinary warning. Everybody silently stared at their screen until the manager went, the young admin then left the room crying and everybody was shocked and apologised that i should see that on my first day and it is never so bad and the manager must be hormonal (!!!!!!?) and so on. the admin team was very supportive of the young admin and they encourage her to report it but she did not want to "make things worse". Funnily enough this happened when i was completing my "freedom to speak up" training....

I want to report the incident but i have no clue as if it was a one off or not and i am aware that the atmosphere is going to be awful if an investigation is opened. I fear retaliation both for the young admin but also for me. The group of old admin ladies have known each others for eon... so that leaves only me.... 

Any experience of outcome after a freedom to speak disclosure? or what would you do?

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  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 11,488 Forumite
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    tostaky said:

    New role in the NHS, never worked in the NHS before.

    I still havent got a laptop or a login so I sat in the admin team office in the morning to do my statutory training online on a hot desk. I am in a clinical role as a trainee, 1st day. The service manager (who is also a clinical professionnal) at some point during the day shouted at one admin team for a mistake she made a few weeks after she started (a month ago). It didn't seem so bad but she really had a go at her and threatened her that if she was going to make the same mistake, she would give her a disciplinary warning. Everybody silently stared at their screen until the manager went, the young admin then left the room crying and everybody was shocked and apologised that i should see that on my first day and it is never so bad and the manager must be hormonal (!!!!!!?) and so on. the admin team was very supportive of the young admin and they encourage her to report it but she did not want to "make things worse". Funnily enough this happened when i was completing my "freedom to speak up" training....

    I want to report the incident but i have no clue as if it was a one off or not and i am aware that the atmosphere is going to be awful if an investigation is opened. I fear retaliation both for the young admin but also for me. The group of old admin ladies have known each others for eon... so that leaves only me.... 

    Any experience of outcome after a freedom to speak disclosure? or what would you do?

    Toughen up. If the young admin wants to report it, up to her - not you.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202 Forumite
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    OP
    Your choice.
    The admin may decline to complain even if you say something and others may not wat to say something either.

    It does not matter if it "only happened once" as it was wrong on every level so never forget that.

    You may be next and then get feeble support from the others. Things like this never happen overnight it is a culture of poor/weak managers that lacks the ability to do their job properly and take it out on those they can.

    If I was in your boots - I'd leave it as it appears this is nothing new and the victim does not want to complain and the old hands wittingly or unwittingly support the nasty manager.

    You could send an anonymous complaint to personnel. You may never get to hear about it but they will call in the clown of a manager. As you are the newest the manager and others may think its you but trust me, unless you declare its you they will never be certain.

    Good luck


  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    Hi, what a terrible first work day experience for you.

    I worked in the NHS for many years and once I was working in a department where my line manager took exception to one of my colleagues. She simply did not like her. And picked on her endlessly. I was a witness to the harassment and my colleague decided to take the matter to her union (she was a senior nurse, so it was the nursing union).  The outcome was in my colleague's favour - but she decided to accept a different post in a different health setting. Our manager received a reprimand and was told that if there were any similar occurrences then her own career would be in jeopardy. But kept her job and also kept her nose clean.

    You really should report the incident. You are a new member of staff and what happened on your first day (or any other day) is totally unacceptable. Especially in a room full of people.

    If more of your new colleagues could bring themselves to report it, that'd also be great.

    You said "i have no clue as if it was a one off or not and i am aware that the atmosphere is going to be awful if an investigation is opened. I fear retaliation both for the young admin but also for me. The group of old admin ladies have known each others for eon... so that leaves only me.... "

    I've worked in similar offices where there are people who have worked there for donkeys years and they put up with so much stuff it's unbelievable. That really IS the British way, though, isn't it? Put up and shut up. I think it's disgusting. There's only one person who should apologise to you and she hasn't done it yet, as far as you say.

    Whether it was a 'one off' or not, it's unacceptable and you shouldn't worry about the atmosphere - from what you say, that isn't the place that you'll be working on a regular basis. An investigation DOES need to be opened. 

    This is bullying at its very worst. And public bullying. Please do report it. For everyone else's sake. If there's any retaliation, report that, too. 

    In every NHS organisation there's an HR department. See them without delay and make a written report. This is something that should not happen to anyone, anywhere in any working environment. That manager cannot be allowed to carry on with that behaviour and hormones should never be used as an excuse for anything!

    Here's what acas has to say about bullying - https://www.acas.org.uk/search?keys=bullying
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • mr_stripey
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    Marcon said:
    tostaky said:

    New role in the NHS, never worked in the NHS before.

    I still havent got a laptop or a login so I sat in the admin team office in the morning to do my statutory training online on a hot desk. I am in a clinical role as a trainee, 1st day. The service manager (who is also a clinical professionnal) at some point during the day shouted at one admin team for a mistake she made a few weeks after she started (a month ago). It didn't seem so bad but she really had a go at her and threatened her that if she was going to make the same mistake, she would give her a disciplinary warning. Everybody silently stared at their screen until the manager went, the young admin then left the room crying and everybody was shocked and apologised that i should see that on my first day and it is never so bad and the manager must be hormonal (!!!!!!?) and so on. the admin team was very supportive of the young admin and they encourage her to report it but she did not want to "make things worse". Funnily enough this happened when i was completing my "freedom to speak up" training....

    I want to report the incident but i have no clue as if it was a one off or not and i am aware that the atmosphere is going to be awful if an investigation is opened. I fear retaliation both for the young admin but also for me. The group of old admin ladies have known each others for eon... so that leaves only me.... 

    Any experience of outcome after a freedom to speak disclosure? or what would you do?

    Toughen up. If the young admin wants to report it, up to her - not you.
    Whist I'm not sure I would go wading in on day one, I would certainly make notes and observe.

    And if everyone took the attitude of not sticking up for those who perhaps are unwilling or unable to defend themselves then where would we be?
  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202 Forumite
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    tostaky said:

    New role in the NHS, never worked in the NHS before.

    I still havent got a laptop or a login so I sat in the admin team office in the morning to do my statutory training online on a hot desk. I am in a clinical role as a trainee, 1st day. The service manager (who is also a clinical professionnal) at some point during the day shouted at one admin team for a mistake she made a few weeks after she started (a month ago). It didn't seem so bad but she really had a go at her and threatened her that if she was going to make the same mistake, she would give her a disciplinary warning. Everybody silently stared at their screen until the manager went, the young admin then left the room crying and everybody was shocked and apologised that i should see that on my first day and it is never so bad and the manager must be hormonal (!!!!!!?) and so on. the admin team was very supportive of the young admin and they encourage her to report it but she did not want to "make things worse". Funnily enough this happened when i was completing my "freedom to speak up" training....

    I want to report the incident but i have no clue as if it was a one off or not and i am aware that the atmosphere is going to be awful if an investigation is opened. I fear retaliation both for the young admin but also for me. The group of old admin ladies have known each others for eon... so that leaves only me.... 

    Any experience of outcome after a freedom to speak disclosure? or what would you do?

    I would make a formal report of it for three reasons: 

    1. It's something to put in your annual appraisal. Shows you've got integrity and values etc. 
    2. If at a later date your employer tries anything against you, you can claim that you're being victimised as a whisleblower etc. 
    3. It shows your colleagues you're not an easy victim. 


    All great but IRL we do not all have the ability to stand up to bullies, especially if one is new t the team. Importantly, bullies/clowns like that have the support of most of the old hands and this may be direct support where they encourage support, lol etc at the bad behaviour or indirectly support it by saying naff all. But being newer, new in the job, it is hard

    I worked in a toxic environment and took little  s.....t but the knives were always out and the seniors were 2/3 faced but the manager was good to me as I was a very good worker and said very little but they eventually got to me when we had a new manager that was weak and taken in by the bullies. This was due to me not being a senior office title but on a higer payment that almost matched their rate of pay really wound them up but trust me I was more than capable of doing my job and carrying the clowns.

    @ but my best co-worker appeared from returning from a vist and told me quietly that this was not me and asked me to leave the office with them We had a chat and this buddy of mine let lose how they were being belittled, undermined etc etc in their supervision and everything.  Me, this buddy, the bullies ex buddy nd two others met personnel - we felt we were brushed off - we took union reps with us - their was a 6-month internal investigation and the new manager was sacked, two were suspended and left and the others changed their job.  (I've not posted the full fact her as someone may work out where this was)


    If you feel you are doing a good/fair job and not taking the p and being treated unfairly, victimised, work is nitpicked and you are being set up to fil and other staff are being coaxed against you, you are being marginlesed, mocked, etc, etc - keep a simple diary with dates/names and who else was present etc then with a unit rep demand to seek the personnel manager if you don't trust the allocated personnel officer to your team/group etc.

    Intially you may feel it's pointless but often its not. WARNING, unless you have at least one good buddy in your office etc, personally I could not hack it.

    Good luck.


    ps - some of these inadequate bullies life is the office and they thrive on other people's misery. Only share with others at work that you don't mind sharing with everyone else as they spread the downs about your life and add a bit of spice to it. having said that we often have one other in a office you could trust and I was lucky I had two people.


  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202 Forumite
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    tostaky said:

    New role in the NHS, never worked in the NHS before.

    I still havent got a laptop or a login so I sat in the admin team office in the morning to do my statutory training online on a hot desk. I am in a clinical role as a trainee, 1st day. The service manager (who is also a clinical professionnal) at some point during the day shouted at one admin team for a mistake she made a few weeks after she started (a month ago). It didn't seem so bad but she really had a go at her and threatened her that if she was going to make the same mistake, she would give her a disciplinary warning. Everybody silently stared at their screen until the manager went, the young admin then left the room crying and everybody was shocked and apologised that i should see that on my first day and it is never so bad and the manager must be hormonal (!!!!!!?) and so on. the admin team was very supportive of the young admin and they encourage her to report it but she did not want to "make things worse". Funnily enough this happened when i was completing my "freedom to speak up" training....

    I want to report the incident but i have no clue as if it was a one off or not and i am aware that the atmosphere is going to be awful if an investigation is opened. I fear retaliation both for the young admin but also for me. The group of old admin ladies have known each others for eon... so that leaves only me.... 

    Any experience of outcome after a freedom to speak disclosure? or what would you do?

    Also, if any manager wants to have a 'discussion' about it - make sure you take an indendent witness along with you. And always confirm anything said in writing. 
    Personally, I may not initially if I had some faiht in the manager. If I was called in and felt they were rebuking me or setting me up I'd tell them to stop and continue the chat when I have an independent witness present, but it takes guts especially if you are new/young/etc.
  • marcia_
    marcia_ Posts: 2,179 Forumite
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    edited 11 November 2022 at 4:17PM
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    tostaky said:

    New role in the NHS, never worked in the NHS before.

    I still havent got a laptop or a login so I sat in the admin team office in the morning to do my statutory training online on a hot desk. I am in a clinical role as a trainee, 1st day. The service manager (who is also a clinical professionnal) at some point during the day shouted at one admin team for a mistake she made a few weeks after she started (a month ago). It didn't seem so bad but she really had a go at her and threatened her that if she was going to make the same mistake, she would give her a disciplinary warning. Everybody silently stared at their screen until the manager went, the young admin then left the room crying and everybody was shocked and apologised that i should see that on my first day and it is never so bad and the manager must be hormonal (!!!!!!?) and so on. the admin team was very supportive of the young admin and they encourage her to report it but she did not want to "make things worse". Funnily enough this happened when i was completing my "freedom to speak up" training....

    I want to report the incident but i have no clue as if it was a one off or not and i am aware that the atmosphere is going to be awful if an investigation is opened. I fear retaliation both for the young admin but also for me. The group of old admin ladies have known each others for eon... so that leaves only me.... 

    Any experience of outcome after a freedom to speak disclosure? or what would you do?

    Also, if any manager wants to have a 'discussion' about it - make sure you take an indendent witness along with you. And always confirm anything said in writing. 
     You seem paranoid about getting everything In writing 
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,736 Forumite
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    There should be a way to whistleblow anonymously for the reasons the OP has raised.
  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202 Forumite
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    Personally, I may not initially if I had some faiht in the manager. If I was called in and felt they were rebuking me or setting me up I'd tell them to stop and continue the chat when I have an independent witness present, but it takes guts especially if you are new/young/etc.
    That's quite difficult, because in reality the manager will be unlikely to repeat it on the second meeting. 
    Most of these people don't actually have the backbone to do things properly when there are witnesses. 
    True but at least they will know who to and who not to mess with as many would not have the guts to say that.
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