MORE than a quarter of disabled staff working at Royal Bolton Hospital have been abused by patients or visitors in the past year, a report has revealed.

Bolton NHS Hospital Trust report into equality for the trust’s disabled workers found that in the year 2019/20 26 per cent of disabled workers at the hospital experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from patients, relatives or the public.

That figure is a reduction from the previous year when 34 per cent reported abuse.

In the same period, 19 per cent of disabled staff said they had suffered bullying and harassment from managers and 30 per cent reported similar behaviour from colleagues .

The trust said of its 5,457 workers on March 31 this year, 2.57 per cent had a disability, that proportion has reduced form a figure of 2.75 per cent the previous year.

Of those 77 per cent of disabled staff felt the trust provided equal opportunities for career progression, with the figure much higher at 86 per cent for non-disabled staff.

Director of people at the trust, James Mawrey, said that significant progress had been made recently in striving for equality.

He said: “We have been recognized as a disability confident employer .

“This means that we have processes in place to ensure that disabled people and those with long term health conditions have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.

“We now aspire to achieve the third level, disability confident leader, however it is clear that much work is still needed to enable us to achieve that.”

The trust said that much work had also been put into supporting the wellbeing of staff.

They said they had established ‘lavender rooms’ to provide safe, quiet and confidential space where staff can take time out to pause,reflect and access self-care resources anytime during their working


The trust also has a telephone support service available to disabled staff which is a 24 hour, seven day a week confidential helpline and telephone counselling service.

Occupational health support is available to staff by appointment and by phone, staff now have access to an NHS national helpline and a bereavement support service is available internally.

Wellbeing check-ins have been established for staff so they are able to speak online to a member of the the NHS coaching team.