8 - LB on line photoLynne Bowers is Programme Manager at Health Education West Midlands, and is currently seconded part-time to the NHS Leadership Academy, developing and testing the new Mary Seacole Programme.

Lynne leads on CEO Development, the National Programmes, including Core Programmes, The Nye Bevan, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Mary Seacole and Edward Jenner Programmes, Senior Systems Leaders Programme and the Top Leaders Programme.

Lynne is also an International speaker and a published author.

I identified that there was a need to address endemic bullying in the NHS, so I created a collection of research and information on how we could tackle bullying within the NHS. I researched best practice, sources of help and support and I collated case studies.

My mentees, The NHS Leadership Academy Mary Seacole Programme and The Francis Inquiries influenced me to make this change. The mentees have survived intolerable pressures, and so I asked them whether I could share their stories anonymously.

I also undertook a meta-analysis of international publications across Health and other organisations. I approached National Thought Leaders for their thoughts on bullying and I collected articles and blogs written by National Thought Leaders; Twitter was very useful here. I then presented my findings within organisations and contributed to the Freedom to Speak Up Review.

The anecdotal evidence is that as a result of this work, people tell me they ‘see things differently’; ‘the atmosphere feels different’; ‘I am empowered’; ‘ I see/feel/ hear changes in my line manager’s approach’; ‘This will not define me – I am moving forward’; ‘You are inspiring’ *blushes* (Freedom to Speak Up Review).

The outcome of my research was much better than expected. My mentees, partner colleagues and I, as a result of this work, are more able to provide effective targeted advice. National Thought Leaders were very supportive and the response from mentees and partner colleagues was outstanding.

Has this research resulted in a change in the culture of the organisation? I believe so and I want to continue to work on improving culture and context in the NHS.