TWO investigations are underway following "disturbing" allegations hospital staff have been subjected to bullying and harassment by senior colleagues.

In the first, it is alleged a consultant left a senior staff member "in fear of assault".

The incident was reported "some months ago" but it is claimed bosses failed to do anything.

Only recently was the hospital's chief medical officer (CMO), Dr Angela Tillett, made aware and has now asked for a report of what allegedly happened.

The consultant was working on a temporary basis at Colchester Hospital and the incident happened on D'Arcy ward, which looks after elderly and frail female patients.

It was one of "a number of disturbing incidents" governors at the hospital trust were made aware of, when they took part in a walkabout of D'Arcy ward.

In a report of their findings they added these incidents would be categorised as "bullying and harassment".

In a second incident it was alleged there had been "ongoing harassment by email and in meetings" from a member of the senior management, outside of the ward.

The governors' report added: "We encouraged the member of staff concerned to report both matters in full through the appropriate processes, and this report is being copied to the CMO and Chief Nurse for information as a result."

Jan Ingle, spokeswoman for the hospital trust, said: "We take all concerns raised by staff colleagues extremely seriously and have a clear framework for investigating any and all issues raised."

The Gazette also asked the hospital trust why no action was taken into the first alleged incident when it was first raised by the staff member and for any outcome of a report into the incident.

It was asked what, if any disciplinary action, may have been taken against the locum.

Regarding the second alleged incident, the trust was asked what, if any action had been taken against the member of senior management.

But it did not answer these questions.

However, the governors' report added: "We also met one of the RN (Registered Nursing) staff who again had stayed with D’Arcy for most of her career.

"She said morale was good and that she had been well supported through recent ill health herself and that there was a good team spirit amongst staff."

The ward is staffed by four nurses and four healthcare assistants per shift.

The ward walkabout occurred on April 16.

The role of the governors is to hold the trust's board of directors to account.