Several paramedics have been suspended from their roles at a Wiltshire ambulance station that has been nicknamed the ‘Mafia Station’.
An investigation has been launched after allegations of a “massive culture” of bullying, intimidation and harassment were made to South Western Ambulance Service (SWAST) bosses.
The ambulance station, in Hilperton Road, Trowbridge, will have a reduced number of staff able to attend emergency calls whilst the probe is ongoing.
There are claims that a clique made life a misery for other staff who worked at the station after the death of well-respected paramedic officer Steve Blackmore shortly before Christmas 2018.
A whistleblower, who does not wish to be named for fear of retribution, said: “It has been absolutely unbelievable. It’s been absolutely horrific – people are frightened.
“They have finally taken action and suspended a huge amount of staff pending investigations.
“We have made several complaints over the past two years and the bosses have finally taken action.
“In this day and age, when we are supposed to be kind, caring and compassionate people, the fact is that this culture of bullying and harassment has really not ever been taken seriously.
“Things have got to change. Trowbridge station used to be classed as one of the best stations to work on because we had a great team of really good professional people that would all work together to provide the best for the patients.
“It used to be one big happy family. It needs to go back to being the top station.”
The paramedic added that the station is nicknamed the ‘Mafia Station’, with ambulance staff avoiding it at all costs.
They added: “Now its nickname is the ‘Mafia Station’ and nobody wants to work there because they know it has got this culture of bullying.”
In an email to SWAST staff, deputy county commander for Wiltshire Jane Whichello confirmed an investigation was underway.
She wrote: “Following some concerns raised in relation to Trowbridge Station, a number of individuals have been temporarily suspended from their roles while an investigation takes place.
“Each of these individuals has been appointed a welfare officer to support them through what, will inevitably, be a difficult time for us all.
“These steps are normal practice when concerns are raised to allow the facts to be gathered and does not indicate any confirmed wrongdoing.
“An independent investigating officer has been appointed to undertake the investigation. This will be Danny Milham, who is the deputy commander for Somerset.
“Please can I ask that, whilst this will prompt questions, that we do not speculate or participate in rumours and let the investigation process run its course.”
A SWAST spokesperson said: “While we cannot comment on individual staffing matters, we can confirm that SWASFT does not tolerate any form of bullying and harassment in the workplace.
“Any allegations of such behaviour is taken very seriously and we have robust procedures in place for staff to report any concerns.”
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