Dignity at Work

EDI wire

The Trust's commitment to eliminate bullying and harassment in the workplace

The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is an equal opportunities employer and, as such, will not condone or permit bullying or harassment behaviour at work. The Trust is committed to preventing all forms of harassment by:

  • Raising awareness of our committment to promoting a culture of zero tolerance to all forms of harassment, victimisation or discrimination, as part of the induction process
  • Providing support systems for taff and managers
  • Offering a bullying and harassment advisory service
  • Investigating all complaints promptly, sensitively and confidentially
  • Providing an appropriate counselling service
  • Continually monitoring and reviewing the process to ensure the Bullying and Harassment (Dignity at Work) Policy is effectively tackling the problem of harassment

If you would like to read more information about our work in tackling workplace bullying and harassment please see the 'general' information section.

If you think you would like to contact one of our advisors, please go to the 'advisor' section of this web page.

 If you have any comments or queries about this service please contact the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Team:

By telephone: 0161 604 5893

By email: equality@pat.nhs.uk

What is bullying and harassment?

Bullying and harassment can be defined as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour that is neither warranted, welcomed and unreciprocated.

Bullying behaviour can take effect in many forms, some examples include:

  • Offensive jokes, insults or ridicule
  • Remarks about a person’s appearance
  • Verbal threats or abuse
  • Obstructing a person’s career by not encouraging training or promotion
  • Setting unrealistic projects, deadlines and overloading of work, therefore setting someone up to fail
  • Loss of responsibility
  • Sexual harassment – such as explicit derogatory remarks, advances or innuendoes. Invading a person’s private space and unwanted touching
  • Environmental harassment – harassing emails, inappropriate posters or calendars
  • Undermining a person’s authority or not giving a person recognition for work done
  • Spreading rumours and isolating people

Effects of bullying and harassment

Often bullying behaviour is dismissed as being part of someone’s strong management styles, or that the person concerned is too sensitive or that they generally just don’t fit. However, all of these reasons are unaccepted and must be eliminated from the workplace due to the effects it can have.

Bullying and harassment can have a negative effect not only on the person who finds themselves on the receiving end of such behaviour, but can also have a harmful impact on the business or organisation. 

Some illustrations of what effects bullying and harassing behaviour can have on a person are included below:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Aches and pains
  • Loss of confidence and self worth
  • Loss of interest and concentration

Some impacts that a bullying culture can have on an organisation or business include:

  • Poor morale
  • Loss of trust and respect
  • Higher rates of sickness
  • Higher turnover of staff
  • Detrimental effect on the reputation of the business
  • Lead to court cases, which in turn can lead to unwanted press coverage and financial loss

In most cases the person who is carrying out the bullying will put it down to the fact that they were ‘just having a joke’, but remember it is not the harasser’s opinion that counts but how their behaviour makes the individual feel.

6 point survival plan 

  1. Talk to your family, friends or colleagues about what is happening to you. 
  2. Try to resolve the issue informally if possible.
  3. Ask the perpetrator to stop and keep a diary of events.
  4. Remember that the Trust offers a counselling service.
  5. Get in touch with other organisations that can help.
  6. Remember you are not alone. Speak to a Bullying and Harassment Advisor who will offer you support and advice.

What is the trust doing to help?

The Trust is committed to preventing bullying and harassment and offers a Bullying and Harassment Advisory Service.  The service offers access to 14 Advisors who are based across the 4 hospital sites. They are from diverse back grounds and carry out a wide range of roles across a variety of grades.

Our Advisors have been trained on how to deal with bullying and harassment queries and can offer one to one information and advice in a safe and confidential environment. 

If you would like to read more information about our Advisors, including how to contact them, then please view the section on ‘Advisors’.


The Trust has a number of policies and guidelines which can offer support to individuals:

  • Bullying and Harassment Policy
  • Grievance Procedure
  • Zero Tolerance Policy
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Disciplinary Procedure
  • Whistleblowing Policy

You can view any of these policies in the ‘documents’ section of the Intranet.

Advisors Information

There are Bullying and Harassment Advisors available on all sites across the Trust (please see 'Documents' below for details).

Please note that you may request to see an advisor from a site other than your own if you prefer.  Please discuss this with the advisor.

Occasionally, advisors may not be available to take your enquiry due to work or leave commitments. If this is the case, please try a different advisor.  

If you have any concerns or need further guidance, please contact the Equality & Diversity Team on 0161 604 5893 or 5763.