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Found 226 results
  1. Content Article
    Surviving in Scrubs have published their first report 'Surviving healthcare: Sexism and sexual violence in the healthcare workforce' is now live. The report is an analysis of 150 survivor stories submitted to their website since they launched in 2022. It details the findings on the incidents, factors and challenges unique to healthcare that permit sexism and sexual violence in the healthcare workforce. The report contains recommendations to healthcare organisations to better support survivors and end these behaviours.
  2. Content Article
    A substantial barrier to progress in patient safety is a dysfunctional culture rooted in widespread disrespect. Leape et al. identify a broad range of disrespectful conduct, suggesting six categories for classifying disrespectful behaviour in the health care setting: disruptive behaviour; humiliating, demeaning treatment of nurses, residents, and students; passive-aggressive behaviour; passive disrespect; dismissive treatment of patients; and systemic disrespect. At one end of the spectrum, a single disruptive physician can poison the atmosphere of an entire unit. More common are everyday humiliations of nurses and physicians in training, as well as passive resistance to collaboration and change. Even more common are lesser degrees of disrespectful conduct toward patients that are taken for granted and not recognised by health workers as disrespectful. Disrespect is a threat to patient safety because it inhibits collegiality and cooperation essential to teamwork, cuts off communication, undermines morale, and inhibits compliance with and implementation of new practices. Nurses and students are particularly at risk, but disrespectful treatment is also devastating for patients. Disrespect underlies the tensions and dissatisfactions that diminish joy and fulfilment in work for all health care workers and contributes to turnover of highly qualified staff. Disrespectful behaviour is rooted, in part, in characteristics of the individual, such as insecurity or aggressiveness, but it is also learned, tolerated, and reinforced in the hierarchical hospital culture. A major contributor to disrespectful behaviour is the stressful health care environment, particularly the presence of “production pressure,” such as the requirement to see a high volume of patients.
  3. Content Article
    Nurse bullying has been an issue for decades and continued during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, in the post-pandemic era, allegations of toxic behaviour are continuing to climb.  Becker's spoke with Jennifer Woods, vice president and chief nursing officer at Baptist Health Hardin in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, and Jamie Payne, chief human resources officer at Saint Francis Health System in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to understand the increase in nurse bullying and how their health systems are working to address it. 
  4. News Article
    Large numbers of midwives report being left feeling undervalued and afraid to speak up due to bullying and widespread staffing shortages, which some say is putting mothers’ and babies’ lives at risk, according to a new publication shared with HSJ. The Say No to Bullying in Midwifery report comprises hundreds of accounts, ranging from students, newly qualified and senior midwives, heads of midwifery, maternity support workers and more. It aims to publicise and share concerns they have raised online. The report said: “Midwives have described their experiences of toxic cultures within their workplaces, with cliques, preferential treatment, unfounded allegations and poor working conditions leading to a negative impact on their health and wellbeing, including suicide attempts and midwives leaving their job or profession. Read full story Source: HSJ, 13 November 2023 Order a copy of the report
  5. Content Article
    *Trigger warning: This report contains accounts of bullying behaviours and consequences and may trigger those who have experiences of bullying. The Say No to Bullying in Midwifery report comprises hundreds of accounts, ranging from students, newly qualified and senior midwives, heads of midwifery, maternity support workers and more. It aims to publicise and share concerns they have raised online. In the numerous accounts shared all areas of the system from CQC, CEO, HR, midwifery management, universities and the unions are described as being complicit, inadequate, disinterested and even corrupt. Accounts also refer to: Unsafe work environments Exit interviews not being performed, recorded or acted upon Staff not being valued Whistle-blowers being demonised until they leave Health and safety issues and truly evidence-based practice ignored with no lessons learned. To order your copy, follow the link below.
  6. News Article
    A hospital trust has dismissed three members of staff following complaints of sexual harassment. The sackings by University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) NHS Trust were revealed at the launch of its sexual safety charter on Monday. Sexual safety was one of the areas highlighted in a review of the trust's culture. UHB said sexism, misogyny and sexual harassment would not be tolerated in the workplace. The trust has been subject to three enquiries following a BBC investigation into its culture. The second of these investigations, by Prof Mike Bewick, identified a new line of inquiry into allegations of misogynistic behaviour and sexual harassment. Prof Bewick said the trust had begun formal investigations and there was a widening of the scope of the enquiry to accommodate the sensitive nature of these concerns. Read full story Source: BBC News, 19 October 2023
  7. News Article
    The deputy leader of a trust rated ‘inadequate’ by a health watchdog four times in the past decade has admitted the necessary changes to its culture may take a further four years. Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust staved off calls to break it up earlier this year after the Care Quality Commission raised its rating from “inadequate” to “requires improvement”. However, it has come under increased scrutiny in recent months after a review found it lost track of patient deaths, and a subsequent BBC Newsnight investigation discovered the report was edited to remove criticism of its leadership. The BBC found earlier drafts removed references to a “culture of fear” highlighted by some staff. Now deputy CEO Cath Byford has addressed growing concerns about the morale of staff working at the organisation, and their ability to speak up, at a meeting of Norfolk County Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee. During the meeting, she revealed the results of an anonymous survey which received 18,000 staff interactions. Most feedback was “not positive” admitted Ms Byford. She said many staff reported bullying and harassment, unfairness, inequality, and nepotism. This was particularly the case in recruitment, with staff feeling jobs were being lined up for certain individuals. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 15 September 2023
  8. News Article
    Senior doctors say female medics have felt pressured into sexual activity with colleagues. Four women who head up medical royal colleges in Wales have written an open letter describing misogyny, bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace. They told BBC Wales that female staff had been asked for sex by male colleagues while on shift. The Welsh government said: "Harassment and sexual violence is abhorrent and has no place in our NHS." Chairwoman of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, Dr Maria Atkins, said: "I've heard from multiple women over the years that during night-time shifts, they've been propositioned by male colleagues and felt pressured to engage in sexual acts. "When they've refused they are penalised. "It can be very damaging to some less experienced or younger women, because they will be discouraged from engaging with a team, which might have been the specialty of medicine that they wanted to progress their career in." Read full story Source: BBC News, 22 September 2023
  9. News Article
    More than half of staff at a hospital trust that has been under fire for its "toxic culture" have said they felt bullied or harassed. The findings come from an independent review commissioned by University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) NHS Trust. It has been at the centre of NHS scrutiny after a culture of fear was uncovered in a BBC Newsnight investigation. UHB has apologised for "unacceptable behaviours". It added it was committed to changing the working environment. Of 2,884 respondents to a staff survey, 53% said they had felt bullied or harassed at work, while only 16% believed their concerns would be taken up by their employer. Many said they were fearful to complain "as they believed it could worsen the situation," the review team found. Read full story Source: BBC News, 27 September 2023
  10. Content Article
    The Culture Review report was published following an independent external review of the organisational culture at University Hospitals Birmingham Trust. The external review was carried out by consultancy firm The Value Circle following a series of investigations into problems at University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust over the last year.
  11. Content Article
    Extensive cultural change is needed in the NHS to tackle sexual violence and prevent further institutional harm to patients and staff, writes Philippa Greenfield, co-presidential lead for women and mental health, consultant general adult psychiatrist, named doctor for adult safeguarding and trauma informed lead.
  12. Content Article
    A recent report found that a third of female surgeons have been sexually harassed at work. In this opinion piece, Dr Liz O’Riordan speaks out about the abuse she suffered from male colleagues while working for the NHS. She describes her experiences, highlighting that incidents of sexual harassment are common amongst female surgical trainees who fear speaking out as it may affect their careers. She also draws attention to the fact that it is not just an issue amongst surgeons, but that many other healthcare professionals experience inappropriate sexual comments and behaviour while at work.
  13. Content Article
    As awareness of the importance of psychological safety in the workplace increases, there is a corresponding increase in the number of psychometric tools, applications and services that attempt to measure psychological safety. This post on the blog Psychological Safety outlines some helpful principles for organisations to apply when choosing a psychometric tool. It lays out the following key principles, stating that in choosing a psychometric tool, we should ensure that we understand the methods and algorithms the tool uses. it’s usable and accessible for everyone. it’s secure. people retain ownership of their own data. the questions and statements actually correlate with psychological safety. it doesn’t make assumptions based upon majority culture. the tool doesn’t create perverse incentives.
  14. Content Article
    For surgical teams, high reliability and optimal performance depend on effective communication, mutual respect, and continuous situational awareness. Surgeons who model unprofessional behaviours may undermine a culture of safety, threaten teamwork, and thereby increase the risk for medical errors and surgical complications. This article in JAMA Surgery aimed to assess whether patients of surgeons with a higher number of coworker reports about unprofessional behaviour experience a higher rate of postoperative complications than patients whose surgeons have no such reports. The authors found that  patients whose surgeons had a higher number of coworker reports had a significantly increased risk of surgical and medical complications. These findings suggest that organisations interested in ensuring optimal patient outcomes should focus on addressing surgeons whose behaviour toward other medical professionals may increase patients’ risk for adverse outcomes.
  15. News Article
    Female surgeons say they are being sexually harassed, assaulted and in some cases raped by colleagues, a major analysis of NHS staff has found. The Royal College of Surgeons said the findings were "truly shocking". Sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape have been referred to as surgery's open secret. There is an untold story of women being fondled inside their scrubs, of male surgeons wiping their brow on their breasts and men rubbing erections against female staff. Some have been offered career opportunities for sex. Nearly two-thirds of women surgeons that responded to the researchers said they had been the target of sexual harassment and a third had been sexually assaulted by colleagues in the past five years. Women say they fear reporting incidents will damage their careers and they lack confidence the NHS will take action. It is widely accepted there is a culture of silence around such behaviour. Surgical training relies on learning from senior colleagues in the operating theatre and women have told us it is risky to speak out about those who have power and influence over their future careers. Read full story Source: BBC News, 12 September 2023 Related reading on the hub: Breaking the silence: Addressing sexual misconduct in healthcare Calling out the sexist and misogynist culture within healthcare: a blog by Dr Chelcie Jewitt, co-founder of the Surviving in Scrubs campaign GMC's Good medical practice 2024
  16. Content Article
    Research published in the British Journal of Surgery demonstrates that sexual harassment and sexual assault are commonplace within the surgical workforce and rape happens. This report from the Working Party on Sexual Misconduct in Surgery is a call to action, with a series of recommendations, for healthcare institutions to face up to the shocking reality of sexual misconduct within their organisations.  Further reading: Sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape by colleagues in the surgical workforce, and how women and men are living different realities: observational study using NHS population-derived weights Calling out the sexist and misogynist culture within healthcare: a blog by Dr Chelcie Jewitt, co-founder of the Surviving in Scrubs campaign GMC's Good medical practice 2024
  17. News Article
    Former commissioning chiefs have been accused of presiding over a ‘culture of bullying’ at the predecessor organisation to Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board, as part of a legal claim from a former employee. The accusations, which have been made in an employment tribunal case, relate to former chief executive Melanie Craig and other former executives at what was then Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group. Ms Craig now leads Suffolk Community Foundation, a local voluntary sector organisation. The claims have been made by a former long-standing assistant director for mental health services, Clive Rennie, who has claimed unfair dismissal. However, the integrated care board said it disputes the claims and is defending the case. In a witness statement to the tribunal, which began this week, Mr Rennie alleges there was an “authoritarian and dictatorial style of management” and described a “culture of bullying and misuse of power that had emerged under the leadership of Melanie Craig and which included the executive team”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 6 September 2023
  18. Content Article
    Following the Lucy Letby case, letters to the Times discuss workplace rights and safety in hospitals. Keith Conradi, former chief investigator, Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, highlights a current NHS workforce too frightened to raise safety concerns, working in a toxic and bullying culture, where the predominance of HR approaches undermine the culture of safety. And Andrew Harris, professor of coronial law, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Marys University London, writes that there is a duty on medical practitioners to report the circumstances of a death and not to limit disclosure to avoid investigation. In his letter he questions whether medical examiners across the country are acting independently of their trusts and properly notifying such cases.
  19. News Article
    Teens who have been bullied by their peers, or who have considered or attempted suicide, may be more likely to have more frequent headaches than teens who have not experienced any of these problems, according to a study published in the August 2, 2023, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study does not prove that bullying or thoughts of suicide cause headaches; it only shows an association. “Headaches are a common problem for teenagers, but our study looked beyond the biological factors to also consider the psychological and social factors that are associated with headaches,” said study author Serena L. Orr, MD, MSc, of the University of Calgary in Canada. “Our findings suggest that bullying and attempting or considering suicide may be linked to frequent headaches in teenagers, independent of mood and anxiety disorders.” The study involved more than 2.2 million teens with an average age of 14 years. Read the full article here: https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/997216
  20. News Article
    A former breast cancer surgeon has said the NHS needs a MeToo movement because of sexual harassment in hospitals. Dr Liz O'Riordan said she experienced sexual harassment from colleagues on a weekly to monthly basis in some of her jobs as a junior doctor. In her first week as a junior doctor, she recalled a colleague asking if she "got an erection" after removing an 11-year-old boy's appendix. "We need to be able to say this is not good enough," said Dr O'Riordan. "When you are a trainee in a practical field, you are relying on your boss to let you operate to show you how to cut; it is a craft that you learn." "Basically you are naked in scrubs stood from shoulder, to hip, to knee, next to someone all squeezed in; a lot of body contact; you are relying on them to let you cut, and if you call them out they may say 'I don't like you, you are not coming to theatre today'. "It's very, very, very hard to stand up for yourself and say 'that is not on' and the minute you let them get away with it, it is accepted and they can carry on getting away with it." Read full story Source: BBC News, 12 July 2023 Related reading on the hub: Under the knife: Life Lessons from the operating theatre by Liz O’Riordan Calling out the sexist and misogynist culture within healthcare: a blog by Dr Chelcie Jewitt, co-founder of the Surviving in Scrubs campaign
  21. News Article
    An inspection of an ‘outstanding’ hospital has revealed concerns about unsafe staffing, as well as bullying and undermining behaviour. The then Health Education England issued Frimley Health Foundation Trust 14 mandatory requirements after visiting its Frimley Park Hospital in March to look at training in medical specialties. The risk-based review followed concerns in the 2022 national training survey and previous quality interventions by HEE. Among the problems HEE was told about were: Junior doctors feeling staffing on some shifts was unsafe. Foundation year one doctors were sometimes the only doctors on a ward, while one foundation doctor spent their first weekend on call looking after two wards by themselves. Concerns about bullying and undermining behaviour in an unnamed department, and consultant behaviour during weekend handover which left some staff feeling “uncomfortable”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 11 July 2023
  22. News Article
    A major teaching trust is dominated by a “medical patriarchy”, while “misogynistic behaviour” is a regular occurrence, two investigations have discovered. Two reports into University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust have been published. They are the outcome of an investigation into the trust’s leadership carried out by NHS England, and an oversight review by former NHSE deputy medical director Mike Bewick. They follow major concerns being raised over recent months about safety, culture, and leadership at the trust. The NHSE review said the trust “could do more to balance the medical patriarchy that dominates” the organisation. It noted consultants are invited to observe a chief executive’s advisory group meeting, but nursing, midwifery and allied health professional leaders are not.” On culture, NHSE said the trust should take steps to ensure staff can work in psychologically safe environments where “poor behaviours are consistently addressed” and to “eradicate bullying and cronyism at all levels of the organisation”. Staff had described “inequity and cronyism” being a feature of recruitment processes at all levels. Read full story (paywalled)
  23. Content Article
    A number of serious concerns were raised about the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, relating to patient safety, governance processes and organisational culture. The Trust has been under review by the Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board (ICB), following a junior doctor at the trust, Dr Vaishnavi Kumar, taking her own life in June 2022. In response to these concerns, a series of rapid independently-led reviews have been commissioned at the Trust.  A follow up report into concerns raised about University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has now been published showing the progress made against the recommendations made in the clinical safety (phase 1) report. It also collates the evidence from phase 2 and 3 of the review and assesses how the lessons learned can at this point be incorporated into the recovery and development plan that the Trust is already progressing. It also takes account of any other concerns that have arisen or been communicated to the review team.
  24. News Article
    An acute trust’s leadership has been downgraded to ‘inadequate’ after some staff ignored concerns raised directly by CQC inspectors, while others said bullying was ‘rife’. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found multiple reports of staff raising concerns at York and Scarborough Foundation Trust, but that staff felt they were “ignored”, dismissed or “swept under the carpet”. The trust’s leadership has been rated as “inadequate”, down from “requires improvement”, although its overall rating remains “requires improvement”. The CQC said “poor leadership was having an impact across all of the services” and there were occasions “where leaders displayed defensiveness or appeared to tolerate poor behaviours from staff.” The trust said it had been under “sustained pressure” but had already begun to make improvements, including a new information system in maternity services and a review of nursing establishment numbers. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 30 June 2023
  25. Content Article
    Are whistleblower reward programmes a charter for malicious complaints, as some claim, or are they a genuine incentive providing a safety net against retaliation? How successful are these programmes in recovering fraud and other proceeds of crime and serious organised crime? This paper aims to answer these questions—it was produced by WhistleblowersUK in collaboration with US lawyers who contributed to the development and improvement of US reward programmes. It aims to address questions about the legislation around US reward programmes, dispel some of the myths and look at some of the objections attributed to British attitudes about rewarding whistleblowers.
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