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First Anniversary of #LetsRemoveIt Campaign

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13 Jul 2018

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) is today marking the first year of #LetsRemoveIt, its innovative anti-bullying campaign with the launch of a progress report outlining some of the achievements to date and areas for future work.

Bullying, undermining and harassment are both a common feature of NHS life and have a direct impact on patient care. The 2017 NHS staff survey reported that around a quarter of all NHS staff in England experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from staff in the last 12 months, equating to over a quarter of a million people.

Further, reports estimate that disruptive behaviour in the perioperative area is responsible for 67% of adverse events, 71% of medical errors, and 27% of perioperative deaths. Indeed, the Kirkup, Francis and Kennedy reports all pointed to bullying as significant factors in these cases.

This report highlights some of the progress made in  the campaign’s first year, which include the creation of freely available advice and learning resources (available at https://www.rcsed.ac.uk/professional-support-development-resources/bullying-and-undermining-campaign), hosting of a UK conference and the collaborations made across the medical and allied professions to ensure a broad, co-ordinated approach to this problem.

The report also highlights a set of professional standards we expect clinicians to adopt and the programme for the coming twelve months.

Ms Alice Hartley, who has led #LetsRemoveIt from its inauguration said: “Bullying has a devastating impact not only on those it directly affects, but is proven to have a direct impact on patient care and patient outcomes.

“A quarter of a million NHS employees in England said that they had experienced bullying in the last year, so it is vital that as many clinical and management organisations as possible work together to tackle the cultural and systemic causes of this problem.”

Professor Michael Lavelle-Jones, President of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh added; “I am delighted at the impact our campaign has had, but this is just a start.

“Given how entrenched bullying is, the problem will not be eradicated overnight. That’s why RCSEd is committed to #LetsRemoveIt over the long term and wishes to work with as many partners and stakeholders to share best practice and pool resources.”

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