Code of Conduct

The British Orthopaedic Association (BOA) is committed to the welfare of its members and the wider T&O and NHS community.  

Everyone should have a basic right to work in a safe and respectful environment without fear. The powerful stories shared through the painful truths, the Breaking the Silence report from the Working Party on Sexual Misconduct in Surgery (WPSMS), Surviving Scrubs and SpeakUpOrtho have shone a light on some extremely difficult issues and have challenged the profession to come together to tackle them.  

At the heart of this is a need for culture change not only to support individuals who experience or witness such behaviour but also, and far more importantly, to prevent these behaviours occurring in the first place.  

Each and every one of us has a role to play and we, the BOA, as the Association supporting the Trauma and Orthopaedic profession, expect our community to act with integrity, take responsibility and call out behaviour which is detrimental to the well-being of individuals, compromises patient safety and creates a barrier to an inclusive environment.  

The GMC defines sexual misconduct as uninvited or unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature, or which can reasonably be interpreted as sexual, that offends, embarrasses, harms, humiliates or intimidates an individual or group. It is a broad definition but we know it when we see it and we must now acknowledge it too.  

Eliminating Sexual Misconduct in the Workplace sets out our expectations for BOA members and colleagues within the T&O profession to act as role models for the profession, to promote positive behaviours and challenge unacceptable behaviour when they witness it. 

The BOA supports the national campaigns by the Royal Surgical Colleges and the BMA to eradicate sexual misconduct from the profession. We have signed up to NHS Sexual Safety Charter and the BMA joint pledge to end sexism and are working to meet their commitments.  

Working with NHS and other employers, regulators and other surgical bodies, the BOA will continue to address failures by members of our profession and others to change the culture. We cannot continue in an environment where victims are afraid to report the behaviour of colleagues, especially of those in positions of power over their future career, and where the response to reported incidents by employing organisations remains so inadequate. 

Significant work has already gone into providing resources and support for those affected. The following links provide advice and guidance on how to report issues if directly affected or as a manager or bystander, direct support services and confidential advice lines.