Doctor writing a report depicting the new sexual safety charter to protect NHS staff

NHS rolls out sexual safety charter to better protect staff

NHS England has launched a first-of-its-kind sexual safety charter in a bid to protect staff and stamp out inappropriate behaviour.

Included in this new action is the requirement for every NHS trust and local health system to have a domestic abuse and sexual violence lead to help people – whether that be staff or patients – access support.

Health service chiefs are urging organisations throughout the health sector to sign up to the framework.

                                                                       Video credit: Canva

As part of the charter are 10 pledges which include commitments to give staff robust support, training and reporting mechanisms.

This training features extra guidance for NHS managers on how to improve awareness and make sure any allegations are put through the correct investigatory procedures.

The Royal College of General Practitioners lent its unequivocal support to the “vital” charter.

“It is critical that all branches of our health service take every necessary measure to safeguard against any forms of sexism, sexual harassment or assault,” said the organisation’s chair, Professor Kamila Hawthorne.

To monitor the progress of this fresh initiative, the NHS staff survey will now also include questions centred around sexual safety.

The roll out comes just a few weeks after the General Medical Council launched the first major update to its Good medical practice standards in a decade.

The guidance explicitly covered the sexual harassment of colleagues for the first time.

Dr Chelcie Jewitt, the co-founder of Surviving in Scrubs which is an organisation raising awareness of sexism and sexual assault in healthcare, commented: “This is a clear sign that the NHS is taking its responsibility towards protecting its staff seriously, with clear guidance of what should be happening within individual trusts to help support survivors.”

Image credit: iStock

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