BOA signs NHS England’s sexual safety in healthcare charter
Following the reports of sexual assault, harassment and abuse in the NHS, NHS England has launched its first ever sexual safety charter in collaboration with key partners across the healthcare system – all NHS trusts, Integrated Care Boards and other organisations across the healthcare sector are urged to sign-up. The BOA Council has agreed to sign the charter.
Signatories to this charter commit to taking and enforcing a zero-tolerance approach to any unwanted, inappropriate and/or harmful sexual behaviours within the workplace, and to ten core principles and actions to help achieve this. Signatories to the charter commit to implementing all ten commitments by July 2024.
NHS England has established an expert advisory group tasked with reviewing NHS policies, training and support, and will share model guidance, e-learning and other products, as they are developed.
Data capture is a key commitment in the charter a new question was included in the NHS Staff Survey published in October 2023: ‘In the last 12 months, how many times have you been the target of unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature in the workplace? This may include offensive or inappropriate sexualised conversation (including jokes), touching or assault.’ The anonymous data gathered from this question will inform the potential prevalence of sexual misconduct across the NHS and in individual organisations and what further action to protect and support staff may be required.
The charter and a list of organisations that have signed it can be viewed at: www.england.nhs.uk/long-read/sexual-safety-in-healthcare-organisational-charter.