RCSEd Campaign to tackle sexual misconduct in healthcare launch at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

Posted on: Thursday 28 Mar 2024

Colleagues at HDFT have recently hosted the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) to launch their powerful UK-wide campaign to raise awareness and encourage zero tolerance of sexual misconduct in healthcare.

Clare McNaught and Jackie Andrews holding campaign posters showing the word "Sexting" and "Groping" cut through the middle with a scalpel

The ‘Let’s Remove It’ (#LetsRemoveIt) campaign has been activated in response to the concerning findings of the Working Party on Sexual Misconduct in Surgery (WPSMS) and the Surviving in Scrubs group, which have highlighted the harassment and sexual abuse faced by many in surgical specialties.

It comes as a report by the WPSMS highlighted how a staggering 89% women and 81% men have witnessed sexual misconduct in the surgical profession in the last five years.

The ‘Let’s Remove It’ campaign includes:

  • An online hub of resources and signposting for support
  • High impact posters and billboards around UK hospitals
  • An updated Code of Conduct developed for members of RCSEd
  • A series of webinars on dealing with sexual misconduct, women in surgery and related topics

Dr Jacqueline Andrews, HDFT’s Executive Medical Director recently hosted the launch of the national campaign with Ms Clare McNaught, Vice President of RCSEd and a Consultant General Surgeon at HDFT. Ms McNaught is leading the campaign on behalf of the RCSEd.

Clare McNaught said: “This behaviour simply must not happen and the culture that has allowed it to happen must be wiped out.

“Our campaign says ‘Let’s Remove It’ – we are all in this together and can unite to eliminate sexual misconduct in surgery.

“Sexual misconduct in any form is an assault on dignity and encompasses a range of unwanted actions that create an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for survivors.”

Dr Jacqueline Andrews said: “We are fully behind the RCSEd’s campaign to stamp out sexual misconduct in healthcare. It is unacceptable that such behaviour still exists and HDFT as a Trust has a zero tolerance approach to sexual misconduct in any guise.

“The RCSEd have launched a fantastic campaign with a wide range of supportive guidance for anyone experiencing or witnessing sexual misconduct which adds to the work already taking place at HDFT as a signatory of the NHS Sexual Safety Organisational Charter.”

The Trust's surgical team holding a campaign poster showing the word "Sexting" cut through the middle with a scalpel

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For further information please contact:

Giles Latham, Communications and Marketing Manager, [email protected] and 01423 557470.

Greg Dawson, Senior Communications and Marketing Officer, [email protected] and 01423 557732.