Disabled staff at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust are more likely to experience bullying, harassment or abuse from their manager as their non-disabled colleagues.

The NHS England figures come from the NHS staff survey conducted in 2022.

They show 13.4 per cent of disabled staff at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust experienced bullying, harassment, or abuse in the previous 12 months.

This fell to nine per cent of non-disabled staff, meaning disabled employees were 1.5 times as likely to experience harassment.

The figures also show 22.6 per cent of disabled staff at the Bolton Trust said they experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from other colleagues in the last 12 months – higher than the 14.4 per cent of their non-disabled colleagues.

Similarly, disabled employees were more likely to be abused by the public, with 29.2 per cent reporting at least one instance in the last year, compared to 24.5 per cent of non-disabled staff.

James Mawrey, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of People at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are sorry to anyone who has been discriminated while at work. It is utterly unacceptable and is an absolute priority of ours, and across the whole NHS, to eradicate it in our workplace.

“Any amount of discrimination is not good enough and we have plans in place to continue addressing this issue, which includes a zero-tolerance policy, delivering inclusive recruitment training for managers and strengthening our reasonable adjustment processes, as well as the introduction of our Disability and Health Conditions Staff Network and support for people who’ve been discriminated against.

“We remain committed to continuing to make improvements and ensure Bolton is a welcoming and inclusive place to work, where our staff feel safe to be themselves and provide the highest levels of care for our patients.”

Across England, 16.4 per cent of disabled staff said they had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from a manager – 1.7 times more likely than non-disabled employees.

Disability equality charity Scope said the figures are "deplorable" and urged the Government to strengthen its Disability Confident scheme – which employers enlist in to improve access and working conditions for disabled staff – and better protect disabled workers' rights.

Thomas Hamilton-Shaw, policy manager at Scope, said: "It’s deplorable that disabled people are more likely to experience bullying from colleagues and abuse from the public.

"Our public sector should be leading the way when it comes to disability employment.

"For too long it’s been too hard for disabled people to get into work, stay in work and thrive in work. This needs to change."

Dr Navina Evans, NHS England’s chief workforce, training, and education officer, said: "While the latest data shows some progress in reducing the proportion of disabled staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from their managers, there is clearly significant work still to do and it remains completely unacceptable that anyone is experiencing this at work.

"Discrimination and bullying have no place in the NHS, and that is why as part of our equality, diversity and inclusion improvement plan, trusts will be expected to take proactive and preventive action to reduce incidents of harassment, bullying and abuse experienced by staff with a disability, as well as by those who share other protected characteristics."

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