RCSEd Nominated for BMJ Award for Anti-Bullying Campaign

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20 Apr 2018

The College is pleased to learn that its Anti-bullying #LetsRemoveIt Campaign group has been shortlisted for a British Medical Journal (BMJ) Award in the Clinical Leadership category, with the winner to be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 10 May 2018.

Now in its 10th year, The BMJ Awards are the UK’s premier medical awards programme, recognising and celebrating the inspirational work done by doctors and their teams across the UK. More than 70 shortlisted teams from across the UK will gather in London on Thursday 10 May for a morning's judging, followed by 'Excellence in Healthcare', an afternoon programme of speakers including Bruce Keogh, former medical director of the NHS England.

The College launched the #LetsRemoveIt campaign to tackle undermining and bullying in the workplace in June 2017, after concerning data emerged from both the GMC National Training Survey, and the College's own membership survey. These surveys demonstrated that up to 40% of surgeons at all stages of their career were being subjected to bullying behaviour.

Commenting on this, Campaign Leader, Urology Trainee based in Newcastle, Ms Alice Hartley said:

"There is a plethora of evidence following the Francis and Kirkup enquiries that disruptive behaviour leads to a breakdown in teamwork, which ultimately reduces patient safety. As the Royal Colleges were set up to ensure appropriate standards of care to enable patients to be treated safely, the College felt compelled to tackle this problem and provide strategies to reduce the incidence of undermining and bullying in the surgical environment.

"We have developed a number of resources, including an online toolkit, an e-module and a one-day workshop which can be delivered locally. There are links to information and two pre-prepared powerpoint presentations, so that people with an interest in tackling the problem in their own hospitals can use and adapt our resources to fit their needs. And we are really keen to empower people to start challenging poor behaviour.

"Our work has led to collaborations with the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The GMC and The BMA, and we have met with organisations including the CQC, NHS Resolutions and The National Guardian's Office, to ensure that our work can link in with the existing and future work of all these teams.

"Following the launch, it became clear that whilst bullying is a particular problem in surgery, it pervades across all specialties, and as a result we have approached the medical directors and CEOs in every Trust and Healthboard within the UK, to see if our resources can be adapted and used to tackle the problem of undermining and bullying within the NHS as whole. A national meeting co-hosted by ourselves and the RCOG in Birmingham in early 2018 saw clinical and non-clinical healthcare leaders meet to discuss best practice, and this will be followed by a similar venture in Edinburgh in the autumn."

Fellow #LetsRemoveIt Campaign Group Member and Consultant Surgeon based in Wales, Mr Steven Backhouse added:

“Wow! Our College’s #LetsRemoveIt campaign team are delighted to be joining healthcare colleagues from across the UK in London next month for the BMJ Awards 2018 finals. We are grateful that our team’s hard work is being acknowledged by shortlisting for such a prestigious award, especially as we note the high quality of the other finalists’ projects. We are excited and looking forward to having the opportunity to present our award entry to the Judging Panel on 10 May. Furthermore the BMJ Awards and the BMJ, as an international brand, also provides an excellent platform for us to help spread the word further on the campaign efforts, by RCSEd and our multiple collaborative partner organisations, to eradicate bullying and undermining from the healthcare workplace.”

> Visit our campaign pages.

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