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Sexual harassment of NHS staff widespread

NHS staff including ambulance workers, porters, nurses and cleaners have been shown pornographic images, offered money for sex, and assaulted at work, according to new research.

The widespread incidents of sexual harassment are revealed in a wide-ranging survey published by the Unison union on the first day of its annual health conference in Brighton.

In the study of more than 12,200 health workers, one in 10 reported unwanted incidents including being touched or kissed, demands for sex in return for favours, and derogatory comments.

Royal College of Nursing chief nurse Professor Nicola Ranger said: “These figures paint an incredibly disturbing picture."

In the survey, sexual assault was reported by 29% of respondents who had experienced harassment, while half said they have been leered at or been the target of suggestive gestures.

One in four who had been harassed said they have suffered unwelcome sexual advances, propositions or demands for sexual favours.

Half the staff had not reported sexual harassment to their employer, amid concerns of being considered “over-sensitive” or feeling complaints would not be acted on.

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Source: BBC News, 8 April 2024


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