05 December 2016

Townsville Hospital worker claims she was bullied

A TOWNSVILLE Hospital employee says she tried to commit suicide twice following ongoing workplace bullying and harassment.
Jodi Miller (pictured) said she wanted to share her story so to give others strength to come forward with their experiences. It comes after the Bulletin revealed numerous employees across the Townsville Hospital and Kirwan Health Campus had lodged bullying complaints. Since then, 15 employees have contacted the Bulletin to discuss their experiences.
Ms Miller has been seeing a psychologist for anxiety that she said was caused from chronic fatigue and workplace issues.

She said while she had been a victim of verbal abuse, failure to address workload issues and roster adjustments were what “tipped her over”. “I asked for my rosters to be adjusted between July and August 2015,” she said. “I was also working every weekend, there was no balance between work and my family life.”

Ms Miller said there was never enough people on during her night shift, leaving her feeling exhausted. Ms Miller said when her roster was adjusted, it wasn’t what she had requested.
“I took three months off with chronic fatigue and then returned to work again on July 13,” she said.

Ms Miller said she hadn’t been back an hour before she was requested to help with a patient who became aggressive and bit her on the arm.
“I finished the job and burst into tears,” she said.
“I went straight to the doctors and was told I had high blood pressure, which I have never had.”

Ms Miller said she applied for a work cover claim however it was denied. She said following an independent psychiatric investigation, it was determined that the bite on her forearm was not the main cause for her poor mental health and was told she couldn’t go back to work for three months.

“My issue is now sitting with Australian Workers’ Union lawyers to see if I can overturn the decision,” she said.

Ms Miller said she wanted to bring awareness to workplace bullying.

“I tried taking my own life twice, it tipped me over,” she said.

Townsville Hospital and Health Service chief operating officer Kieran Keyes said the matters raised by Ms Miller had been investigated and welcomed the opportunity to discuss them with her. “The health service has not received any grievances relating to workplace harassment or bullying from Ms Miller,” he said.

“A number of the matters raised by Ms Miller are protected by employee privacy and we remain committed to protecting the privacy of our staff.
“We work with staff to ensure rosters are assigned to ensure a balance between work and family commitments as well as the organisation’s operational requirements.”
Mr Keyes said there were nine patient handlers rostered on night shifts.

Source: http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/townsville-hospital-worker-claims-she-was-bullied/news-story/3f28856e65cf157743bd216df189a01e

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