Recorded incidents of bullying in NHS Lothian have increased by 33 per cent in the past five years, new figures show.

There were 33 cases in 2017/18, dropping to 25 in 2018/19 but then rising steadily to 30 in 2019/20, 35 in 2020/21 and 44 in 2021/22.

Freedom of Information responses to the Conservatives from health boards across Scotland revealed the total number of bullying cases had risen from 126 in 2017/18 to 185 in 2021/22, an increase of 47 per cent.

According to the data, complaints were made about race and religion harassment and discrimination; insulting, malicious and intimidating behaviour; hostile working environments; bullying behaviours by line managers; derogatory tones; victimisation; cyber-bullying; and threatening behaviour.

NHS Lothian was engulfed by a bullying scandal 10 years ago when an investigation found an “undermining, intimidating, demeaning, threatening and hostile working environment” at the health board.

It said the evidence it had uncovered painted “an extremely disturbing picture” of the culture of some parts of NHS Lothian and concluded the intimidating approach originated “from the top level”.

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