Impact of workplace discrimination and harassment among National Health Service staff working in London trusts: Results from the TIDES study

Rebecca D. Rhead*, Zoe Chui, Ioannis Bakolis, Billy Gazard, Hannah Harwood, Shirlee Maccrimmon, Charlotte Woodhead, Stephani L. Hatch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background Harassment and discrimination in the National Health Service (NHS) has steadily increased over the past 5 years with London being the worst performing region. There is a lack of data and research on the impact this is having on staff health and job satisfaction. Such data are necessary to inform the development of effective workplace interventions to mitigate the effects these experiences have on staff. Aims Examine the impact of harassment and discrimination on NHS staff working in London trusts, utilising data from the 2019 TIDES cross-sectional survey. Method In total, 931 London-based healthcare practitioners participated in the TIDES survey. Regression analysis was used to examine associations between the sociodemographic characteristics of participants, exposure to discrimination and harassment, and how such exposures are associated with physical and mental health, job satisfaction and sickness absence. Results Women, Black ethnic minority staff, migrants, nurses and healthcare assistants were most at risk of discrimination and/or harassment. Experiencing either of the main exposures was associated with probable anxiety or depression. Experiencing harassment was also associated with moderate-to-severe somatic symptoms. Finally, both witnessing and experiencing the main exposures were associated with low job satisfaction and long periods of sickness absence. Conclusions NHS staff, particularly those working in London trusts, are exposed to unprecedented levels of discrimination and harassment from their colleagues. Within the context of an already stretched and under-resourced NHS, in order to combat poor job satisfaction and high turnover rates, the value of all healthcare practitioners must be visibly and continuously reinforced by all management and senior leaders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10
JournalBJPsych Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Discrimination
  • harassment
  • heathcare
  • inequalities
  • mental health


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