Bullying in pharmacy may not leave physical bruises, but it can be psychologically damaging, and I think many people suffer in silence. It can suppress creativity, exploration of ideas, leadership and enthusiasm – all things the profession needs more of.
People need support where they’re being bullied. Membership of an independent union can be invaluable for legal and professional advice and representation. I also think that assertiveness training at the undergraduate level and in some organisations, HR and leadership training for managers could make a difference.
It seems inappropriate targeting and raising concerns is often associated with bullying and this needs to be addressed through pharmacy premises and systems regulation. And in some organisations, the patient safety culture needs to evolve into a more modern systems-focused approach and away from seeking to blame individual human error.
Importantly, we should be tackling the root causes and systemic issues that lead to it or allow it to happen unchecked.