Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust pledges action over bullying

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image captionThe Care Quality Commission placed the trust in special measures in 2015

A mental health trust has said its culture must change amid bullying complaints and a "pattern of discrimination".

Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust said in a report its current culture "does not encourage such behaviour to be challenged constructively".

The trust has been rated "inadequate" three times in recent years and in 2015 became the first mental health trust to be placed in special measures.

The trust said it was improving.

The report, which went before the trust's board of directors earlier, sets out how bosses hope to change the organisation's culture.

image captionThe trust is based at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich

Interim head of employee experience Ade Adetukasi writes: "There is a pattern of discrimination, complaints of harassment and bullying, and the culture does not encourage such behaviour to be challenged constructively and with empathy.

"This has been typified by a lack of kindness and consideration.

"To tackle these fundamental issues, at the core of our future leadership and culture programmes are connection and compassion."

A spokesman for the Campaign to Defend Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said: "The report is unbelievable. This isn't something they've just discovered.

"Rather than just having reports every now and then they should do something about it."

Inspectors found it required improvement in four areas, but rated it "good" for its caring staff.

A spokesperson for the trust said: "There has been longstanding cultural issues in NSFT and we have worked hard with our staff to address some of these.

"Our recent CQC report noted early improvements in the engagement of our staff and this paper is outlining our approach to continue this improvement as we go forward."

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