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What Can You Do?

Speak up. If you see someone being bullied, harassed or undermined then speak to the perpetrator and challenge their behaviour. If you do not feel comfortable doing this on your own, then ask a colleague to accompany you, or speak to their line manager. DON’T leave it – challenge it before it becomes a recurring problem.

Report it. If speaking to the bully has not changed their behaviour and it becomes and on-going problem then report it to their line manager. In extreme circumstances you might wish to speak to the GMC. See our section on the law.

Reflect on your own practice. Have you ever been rude to the referring GP or A&E doctor? Has someone tested your patience in theatre today? Were you short with the clinic staff because you were overbooked? We often think about clinical cases when we go home, but how often do we think about how our actions affected others? Could you be perceived as a bully?

Take our online e-module. This guides you through the facts, identifies the problem and suggests ways of managing our own behaviour in order to change the surgical culture. CPD accredited.

Go on our professional development course. A bespoke course designed for surgeons, showing us how to get the best out of our professional relationships. Free for all RCSEd members and Fellows.

Present at your hospital. We want you to spread the word that disruptive behaviour is not acceptable. We have two presentations available; a ten minute and a thirty minute version for you to present at grand rounds or departmental meetings. Download them here and present them in your own hospitals. Guidance notes are attached at the end of each slide.

Print out a poster. We have posters made for members and fellows to put up in their workplace. Print it out here or if you would like a hard copy then please email us here.

Take part in our RCSEd video competition. The theme this year is “Reducing Bullying, Undermining and Harrassment in the surgical workplace.” Visit the webpage for further details.

The College has a zero tolerance approach to bullying, undermining and harassment and categorically condemns this in all circumstances.

We all have a role to play if we want to change the culture of the surgical workplace.


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