Compassionate and respectful workplace cultures

The SPF encourages employers and trade unions to work in partnership to create a positive culture of civility and respect in the workplace.
One patient comforts another in group counselling

Positive workplaces lead to happier, healthier staff, and better patient care.

  • The NHS Staff Survey results in 2023 show significant occurrences of workplace bullying. 18.1 per cent of staff had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from a colleague, and 10.2 per cent from a manager. See our building positive workplace cultures page for resources to help stop harassment, bullying and abuse.
  • The 2023 NHS Staff Survey results shows that 8.7 per cent of staff had been the target of at least once incident of unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature in the workplace in the last 12 months from patients/service users, their relatives or other members of the public and 3.8 per cent from a colleague. See our sexual safety in the NHS page for information and resources to tackle sexual harassment. 
  • Employers in the NHS, in partnership with trade unions, have been working to create just and learning cultures. This is so that when something goes wrong, staff can speak up without fearing blame and all parties share learning. Evidence shows that creating a just and learning culture can lead to improvements in staff experience, which impacts positively on the delivery of patient care.
  • The 2022 NHS Staff Survey showed, 14.7 per cent of surveyed NHS staff reported they had experienced at least one incident of physical violence from patients/service users, their relatives or other members of the public in the last twelve months. Through the violence reduction subgroup, the SPF works to prevent and reduce violence towards staff, creating a culture of safety where staff are supported, safe and secure. We signpost useful information on address violence in the NHS on our violence reduction page.