Leighton Hospital - scanner

Disabled staff at Mid Cheshire Hospitals are more likely to be harassed or abused in work than their non-disabled colleagues, new figures have revealed.

The NHS Foundation Trust – which runs Leighton Hospital in Crewe – has released new information revealing how its disabled staff have a different experience at work to their colleagues.

According to the Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) 2019, 34% of disabled staff have reported being harassed, bullied or abused by patients or the public, compared to 23% of non-disabled staff.

Meanwhile, 26% of disabled staff reported being harassed, bullied or abused by a colleague, compared to 15% of non-disabled staff.

Heather Barnett, director of workforce and organisational development, said: “It is noticeable that our disabled staff overall do not feel they are having as good an experience as our non-disabled staff.

“This is the first WDES that we have done, so we need to see what work we can do to improve some of these figures.”

This year’s WDES is the first one put together by the trust, after it became mandatory in April this year.

The data comes from electronic staff records, the NHS national staff survey, NHS Jobs records and the trust’s HR employee relations database.

The WDES also reveals 29.7% of disabled staff feel under pressure from their managers to attend work despite not feeling well enough, compared to 20.7% of non-disabled staff.

However, the results for disabled and non-disabled employees were less stark in some categories.

10% of disabled staff reported being harassed, bullied or abused by their managers, compared to 8% of non-disabled staff – while the WDES shows that disabled staff are no more likely to be subject to formal capability procedures than their colleagues.

Chairman Dennis Dunn MBE added: “There is quite a difference between the two groups so we need to do what work we can to improve this.

“But nor does it look like an alarming difference. It is significant, certainly, but some of the results are actually quite reassuring as well.”

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