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Penny Curtis, Linda Ball, Mavis Kirkham
British Journal of Midwifery, Vol. 14, Iss. 4, 05 Apr 2006, pp 218 - 221

A large minority of respondents to the Why do Midwives Leave (WML) study (Ball, Curtis and Kirkham, 2002) reported that they had experienced bullying or horizontal violence, either from their managers or from their clinical colleagues. Certain factors, including clinical grade, level of experience, health status and familiarity with the practise environment, appeared to foster vulnerability, leaving individuals liable to be subjected to the inappropriate behaviours of others. Some managers were unwilling to label such behaviour as bullying and there were examples when inappropriate behaviour was condoned, for fear of upsetting the perpetrators who played a key clinical role. Heads of midwifery were aware of the problem of bullying in the workplace, recognising this as a cultural rather than an individualistic issue. Although progress towards confronting bullying cultures was being made in some locations, much remains to be done.

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