Scotland’s biggest health board, with more than 44,000 employees, is to be the first in the country to draw up a stalking policy.
The move by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) follows a number of incidents where episodes of unwanted and intrusive contact has been made with staff.
These have involved, for instance, individuals being trailed or followed, secretly photographed, harassed over a period with physical damage to their property.
Dr Anne MacDonald, a consultant forensic psychiatrist and member of the working group, said:
“Stalking is not something that just happens to celebrities or as the result of a broken
“It is something that all staff whether or not working directly with the public can face and is an issue that needs to be tackled.
“It is totally unacceptable that any of our staff should have to face and endure the trauma of being stalked and our stance is very much one of zero tolerance to this kind of abuse.”
A top level working group, including Strathclyde Police Domestic Abuse Task Force, are preparing new procedures to tackle stalking of NHS staff in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
The working group are already considering a number of protective actions to support staff who are being stalked including mentoring, the training of line managers to recognise and manage the risk, a “buddying-up” system when an individual is going about their work, and looking at GPS tracking technology.
“Stalking is a form of predatory behaviour or targetted violence taking place over time.
Each individual act may not be illegal or seem worthy of note in itself, but the pattern represents a threat which is naturally alarming, if not terrifying.
“At present an incident may not be flagged as stalking in incident reports. Having a policy will raise awareness of the issue amongst staff, managers and human resources personnel and provide guidance around how it can be identified and safely managed.”
NHSGGC already has in place robust violence and aggression and domestic violence policies and guidance for staff working on their own eg making home visits.
This includes offering special mobile phones linked to a 24 hour manned call centre for staff who may be at heightened risk.
For more information contact either NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on
0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]