NHS crisis: Reports claim bullying of 999 call handlers at ambulance centre led to 'suicide attempts’

'suicide attempts’ due to alleged bullying of 999 call handlers at South East Coast Ambulance trust

The report makes damning allegations about the Coxheath Emergency Operations Centre in Kent

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A leaked report has claimed that a culture of bullying led to increased attempts at suicide for workers at an ambulance centre which placed heavy pressure on them to hit targets. 

An independent investigation into the Coxheath Emergency Operations Centre in Kent was opened after staff alerted executives at the South East Coast Ambulance Trust of "severe bullying" and intimidation at the centre.  

The final report - leaked to The Telegraph - claims at least two of the 999 call handlers at a centre managed by the South East Coast Ambulance Trust tried to take their own lives because of a "culture of fear" at the organisation.

Within the document, some had claimed they felt unable to concentrate on their work because of the pressure they were under, and others said they had to deal with harassment and abuse. 

The report described how staff said they felt victimised by "psychological games", having to endure shouting, swearing, and similar kinds of behaviour. 

It concluded by saying there was evidence that “strongly suggests” the source of the alleged bullying was Dave Hawkins, a senior operations manager at the centre.