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9. Decided to take further action? Informal or formal?

9.1 Informal approach Students are reluctant to complain so start with an informal approach to solving the problem. To initiate this, you should try approaching the person themselves to try to talk the problem through with them. They may not realise the impact their behaviour is having on you. It is important not to make accusations, but to explain how their behaviour makes you feel and ask for it to stop. Again, keep a written record.

9.2
If approaching the bully personally is not acceptable, or the first attempt has been unsuccessful, help and advice need to be sought from the university, practice placement educator or practice placement manager. They can become your representative and can talk to the bully and try to sort out the problem without using formal complaints and sanctions (this is 'conciliation'). You should follow the organisations‟ policies for bullying and harassment to ensure procedures are followed correctly.

9.3 Issues which you need to clarify with your representative:

  • Will they use your name?
  • When will they talk to the individual?
  • When can you find out what happened?
  • What to do next if conciliation doesn't work?
  • What should you do next?

9.4 If the first person approached is not very helpful, don't give up. Try someone else. If you are a SCoR member, you could talk initially and in confidence to a professional or regional officer 020 7740 7200. Contact details of all officers are on the website www.sor.org

9.5 Here are some ideas:
At your educational institution – if the problem is with a member of staff or another student at the university, then you should talk to a personal tutor or another member of staff such as the course leader, student services, counselling service, student union or SCoR. Whoever you speak to, reiterate that it is in confidence; tell them what has been happening. It does not mean a formal complaint will automatically be made. This individual will only do what you want them to and will give you the advice and support you need. They will want to have the bullying or harassment stopped quickly and can become your representative by speaking to the bully directly; they will try to resolve the problem without using formal complaints and sanctions. They should follow the educational institutions bullying and harassment policy to ensure procedures are followed correctly. Some educational institutions have an equal opportunities officer who can assist if the bullying is discrimination based.

Alternatively SCoR's Equality and Diversity Officer, Richard Pembridge (Direct line 020 7740 7215; richardp@sor.org) can be contacted.

In halls of residence – the hall manager or accommodation officer should be the first contact. They can direct you to the most appropriate person to help you.
During practice placement – if the problem is with a member of staff, talk to the clinical/link tutor allotted to your placement site/ your placement mentor/ practice educator/department manager or the occupational health department at the placement. There may also be a SCoR rep (local representative\0 at the workplace so you may approach them.

9.6 You may face harassment or bullying by patients, service users or patients‟ relatives. Report the incident to the department manager immediately.

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