The Equality and Human Rights Commission has required an ambulance trust to sign a legally-binding agreement stating how it will protect its staff from sexual harassment.
This is thought to be the first time the EHRC has taken such action against an English NHS organisation and follows repeated concerns about the culture at East of England Ambulance Service Trust.
As a result, EHRC will now monitor the trust’s action plan for protecting staff from sexual harassment.
The Care Quality Commission asked the EHRC to consider taking enforcement action against the trust last summer, after a CQC investigation found evidence of “bullying and predatory behaviour” and warned the trust’s leaders were not adequately promoting patients’ and staff’s wellbeing.
The CQC also found at least 10 incidents in 2019-20 involving allegations of sexual assault, harassment or inappropriate behaviours, and 13 instances of staff, including those working for subcontractors, being referred to the police for sexual misconduct and predatory behaviour. The trust was subsequently placed in special measures for quality.
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Source: HSJ, 28 April 2021