THE investigation into bullying at Ipswich Hospital has been expanded.
Staff within the Alcohol and Other Drugs Service (AODS) unit have this week been interviewed by external investigators.
The external company, Workplace Edge, was brought in after a group of AODS staff lodged a joint complaint in August.
There are 17 staff members in the AODS team.
West Moreton Hospital and Health Service said the "external review" would examine specific concerns raised in the complaints, as well as the workplace culture and communication within the team.
A spokesperson for the service said there was zero tolerance for bullying.
"We take any complaints raised extremely seriously and are proactive in responding to complaints," the spokesperson said.
"If proven, these complaints will have swift consequences.
"There will be no consequences for staff who raise any concerns of this nature. They are right to do so."
A staff member with several years of experience in the AODS unit has described the bullying within the workplace as "horrendous" and longstanding.
The staff member, who asked not to be named for fear of being targeted, said for them, the bullying had resulted in panic attacks, insomnia and an overwhelming feeling of self-doubt.
"It is very distressing," the staff member said.
"It is a destructive style of leadership which was very intimidating."
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The service also says it consulted with staff and the unions, and it was the preference of both that the review be conducted by an external party.
The launch of an external investigation into complaints of bullying at AODS follows a similar move in the Acute Mental Health Unit, after the QT exposed allegations of extreme bullying in May.
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