Hospital nurses have been told “their lives would be hell” if they complained about conditions in a coronavirus ward, a union said.
Unison has raised a group grievance involving 36 employees, most of them nurses, at the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust.
He said staff at Queen’s Medical Center were improperly trained, bullied for raising concerns, and refused PPE “as punishment.”
The trust said the allegations were “very disturbing”.
The union said staff, which included nurses, senior nurses and health assistants, had volunteered to work in the hospital’s only department treating patients with the coronavirus at the end of their life.
He said they had not received any specialized training or counseling in dealing with dying patients and their bereaved loved ones.
An anonymous member of staff described it as “incredibly stressful”.
“Normally, the palliative care team caring for dying patients manages 200 deaths each year – we treated 185 in just 10 weeks,” they said.
“People who do this job normally receive high levels of training and support due to stress. We didn’t have any of that. “
Dave Ratchford, of Unison, said staff were unprepared for such a high frequency of deaths and should have had access to psychological support.
He said after the team raised concerns, management were “hostile” and locked up PPE “as punishment”.
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Another worker said a board with everyone’s illness records was displayed in a break room to intimidate staff.
“These are absolutely shocking things,” Mr. Ratchford added.
“We’re talking about a high performing team that has fallen victim to a culture that allows bullying and fails to deal with it.
“Staff were told their lives would be hell to complain about. ”
The team said they underwent treatment from April, at the peak of the coronavirus crisis, until this month.
Dr Neil Pease, of the Trust, said he was’ disappointed ‘to hear of the concerns and added:’ We greatly appreciate our staff for the incredible dedication and resilience they have shown during the pandemic. .
“They have done incredible things in the face of truly unprecedented challenges, so hearing about these grievances is really, really disturbing.
“Bullying and harassment are not tolerated in our organization. “
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