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Workplace sexual-harassment clampdown for doctors

Conduct guidelines for UK doctors are being updated to spell out what constitutes workplace sexual harassment, amid concerns abuse is going unchallenged.

The General Medical Council, which regulates doctors to ensure they are safe and fit to care for patients, says it is adopting a zero-tolerance policy.

The new advice explains it is not just physical acts that can be a breach. Verbal and written comments or sharing images with a colleague count too.

The new guidance will not come into effect until the end of January, after a five-month familiarisation period for staff. And some say there is still a long way to go.

Dr Chelcie Jewitt, an emergency-medicine doctor who is part of the Surviving in Scrubs campaign group, which aims to raise awareness of sexism, harassment and sexual assault in the healthcare workforce, said: "We have spoken with the GMC about the guidelines and we do think that they are a step in the right direction - but there is still a long way to go on this journey to eradicating the culture of sexual misconduct within healthcare.

"The GMC has the potential to make a real difference and we need to see them supporting victims when they report perpetrators.

"We need their reporting processes to be transparent and clearly explained to victims.

"We need cases to be thoroughly investigated rather than dismissed.

"And we need appropriate, proportionate sanctioning of perpetrators."

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Source: BBC News, 22 August 2023

Read a blog Dr Chelcie Jewitt wrote for the hub: Calling out the sexist and misogynist culture within healthcare



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