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Survey to shine a light on bullying in Victorian hospitals

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Victorian public hospital workers are being urged to complete the People Matters Survey as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s new plan to address bullying and harassment in the health system.

The People Matters Survey is an annual survey run by the Victorian Public Sector Commission that enables public organisations to monitor employee engagement, satisfaction and performance.

From 2016 onwards, the survey will ask additional questions to uncover trends relating to bullying, harassment, equity and diversity, and wellbeing of healthcare professionals.

The Labor Government recently released a tough new anti-bullying strategy that outlined actions necessary to prevent, manage and respond to what is unacceptable behaviour in our public health system.

The Our pathway to change: Eliminating bullying and harassment in healthcare strategy was developed in response to a Victorian Auditor-General’s investigation that exposed an underlying culture of acceptance of bullying and harassment in Victoria’s health system, and identified opportunities for change.

As part of the strategy, we are auditing the entire health workforce to fully understand the extent and reach of the issue and have made it mandatory for all Victorian public health services to carry out the People Matters Survey annually.

This approach will help services and the Government identify potential hot spots of concern and put in place early actions to prevent and manage poor culture, and inappropriate behaviours.

Healthcare workers are encouraged to participate in the survey and identify issues of concern such as bullying and harassment, and contribute their ideas about how to improve the culture in their workplace.

Where the survey identifies hot spots of concerns, a flying squad of independent anti-bullying specialists will work with health services to put in place strategies to help stamp out bullying and improve workplace culture.

We want to make sure our hospitals are safe, respectful and healthy places to work and that all workers feel confident in raising concerns and making complaints without fear of reprisal.

Public hospitals will be completing their surveys between May and June 30. All employees have or will be provided an opportunity to complete the anonymous survey at their workplace.

More information about the survey is available at www.vpsc.vic.gov.au. If an employee has not received a link to the survey they can contact the employee hotline on 1800 654 585 or email peoplematter@orima.com. (TIW)

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