#MeToo behaviours are ‘endemic’ within the NHS, Royal College of Physicians warns as it publishes new code of conduct to tackle the culture
- Ten-point code outlines that sexist or plain rude behaviour is unacceptable
- May not warrant a complaint but can still be damaging given a doctor’s authority
- Developed by member of college after she experienced an inappropriate remark
The Royal College of Physicians has published a new code of conduct to tackle #MeToo behaviours.
The ten-point code lays out that sexism, undermining actions or just plain rudeness from doctors is unacceptable.
Emma Vaux, the RCP’s vice president of education and training, claimed such behaviours are ‘endemic’ within the NHS.
The Royal College of Physicians has published a new code of conduct to tackle #MeToo (stock)
She said: ‘Many times I have witnessed behaviours that were sexist or undermining or just downright rude.
‘But as a young female medic back in the 1990s, the culture was to “just grin and bear it”.
- Mother, 25, who is covered in tumours and has a severely… Soaring number of patients are facing six-week waits for… Superbugs are killing 33,000 in Europe each year as… Yellow fever kills 10 people in Ethiopia as officials…
Share this article
‘Thankfully things have improved since then, but those sorts of behaviours are still endemic.’
The RCP’s code, published as part of the RCP’s 500th birthday celebrations, states doctors should do the following:
The #MeToo hashtag went viral in October last year in an attempt to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, particularly in the workplace. It followed the sexual misconduct allegations against the former film producer Harvey Weinstein
- Treat others with respect and consideration
- Recognise and value diversity and individual differences
- Behave with integrity, honesty, kindness and patience
- Be a role model for professional behaviours
- Undertake their work in good conscience and to the best of their ability
- Foster collaborative and supportive working with others
- Promote trust and a just culture
- Hold themselves and others accountable for professional and personal behaviours
- Take responsibility for the stewardship of their position of authority and be mindful of their impact on others
- Respect the RCP’s standards and rules, and be a guardian of its reputation
Ms Vaux developed the code after a senior colleague made inappropriate remarks to her at a social event.
What is the #MeToo movement?
In the wake of sexual misconduct revelations about Harvey Weinstein, millions shared their stories about being sexually harassed and assaulted.
The movement began in October after actress Alyssa Milano followed on a suggestion from a friend of a friend and tweeted: ‘If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.’
The hashtag was tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours.
It came after activist Tarana Burke first began using the phrase a decade ago to raise awareness about sexual violence.
‘With a more diverse and female workforce than ever before, the timing felt right for the college do something proactive,’ she said.
The code encourages doctors to be aware of the impact their behaviour can have on patients, junior staff and other medics.
Ms Vaux, a consultant nephrologist and general physician at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, added: ‘The code reflects the privileged position doctors hold and the responsibility that this comes with, not only in our interactions with patients but with colleagues too.
‘We need to be mindful of the difference in status that exists between consultants and trainees, other healthcare professionals, and the patients and families we serve, and always use our positions respectfully.’
The code is being published as part of the RCP’s 500th birthday celebrations and will be written into its bylaws, membership and fellowship ceremonies.
The standards are seen as part of the guidance provided by the General Medicine Council, the RCP said.
The #MeToo hashtag went viral in October last year in an attempt to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, particularly in the workplace.
It followed the sexual misconduct allegations against the former film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Source: Read Full Article