Canberra Hospital at risk of losing teaching accreditation

The Canberra Hospital could lose its accreditation as a teaching hospital amid accusations of a "toxic" culture of bullying in the maternity department.

The ABC has been told staff bullying has plagued the department since concerns were first raised four years ago.

The new Women and Children's Hospital at Woden opened in 2012 and problems have persisted.

Several doctors have told the ABC staff relations at the hospital have deteriorated to the point where patient care has suffered.

Junior staff in the maternity ward have allegedly been severely bullied to the point where some doctors have been on the verge of suicide.

One senior staff member told the ABC the department was a "car wreck", while others have spoken about verbal threats of violence and intimidating emails.

The hospital has been given a six-month accreditation by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to deal with the issues.

If it fails an assessment next year, the hospital will be stripped of its teaching credentials.

'It's as bad as it can get'

The ACT Opposition's Jeremy Hanson has warned the situation can not be allowed to continue.

"The worst accredited hospital in Australia, the staff are under enormous stress, the culture is toxic and it's a disaster waiting to happen," he said.

"Some doctors are on the verge of suicide ... it's about as bad as it can get.

"It is only a matter of time before there is serious injury or loss of life as a result."

The Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said the concerns have been raised with her.

"From my point of view we have to crack this, we can't allow it to continue," she said.

Dr Peggy Brown, ACT Health director-general, said the department has been trying to address the problems, but has acknowledged the accreditation could be withdrawn.

"Some of the relationships within the unit have added to that stress of course, it's a grave concern to me if staff are stressed," she said.

"We're developing an action plan. We've actually been looking at recruitment, we've been doing that for some time, but it's not easy just to pull extra consultants and registrars out of thin air."