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Sexual assault and domestic violence ‘going unchecked’ by regulators, NHS staff warn

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Patients and staff are in danger as regulators are accused of poor handling of sexual assault allegations made against doctors and nurses, The Independent has been told.

Campaigners and frontline staff who spoke to The Independent warned that professional regulators are not dealing adequately with allegations of sexual assault, harassment and domestic violence.

A study of rulings by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has also revealed that male nurses account for 80% of striking-off orders relating to sexual assault allegations, despite only making up 11% of the register.

The warning comes after horrific details of rape and abuse by police officer David Carrick were uncovered this week.

Dr Rebecca Cox, who helped sparked a major #MeToo movement in medicine and is co-founder of the Surviving in Scrubs campaign group, told The Independent: “There are great similarities, in the recent cases of prolific sexual harassment and assault, between the Met Police and the NHS.

“As an organisation, we have had multiple healthcare professionals contacting us desperate to seek support after facing repeated barriers when trying to report harassment and assault to their employing NHS organisation and regulators such as the GMC.

“Victims find their cases ignored or dropped without good reason, and perpetrators being able to continue working without repercussions. We need a public inquiry into sexism, sexual harassment and sexual assault in healthcare.”

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Source: The Independent, 22 January 2023

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