In 2023, Over 80,000 Reports of Unwanted Sexual Behavior Towards NHS Staff

Credits: The Times

A major survey has revealed that over 80,000 reports of sexual harassment were made by NHS staff in England last year. The survey, which included responses from over 675,000 NHS workers, found that 8.67% reported experiencing sexual harassment from patients, their relatives, or members of the public, while 3.84% reported unwanted sexual behavior from colleagues.

The survey also highlighted the prevalence of sexual harassment among ambulance staff, nursing staff, and healthcare assistants.

Professor Vivien Lees, vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, emphasized the importance of addressing this issue, stating that there is “absolutely no place in healthcare for these abhorrent behaviors.”

In response to these findings, NHS England launched a sexual safety charter in September, which aims to enforce a zero-tolerance approach to unwanted sexual behaviors in the workplace. Professor Lees stressed the need for staff members to feel empowered to report misconduct without fear of reprisal.

NHS Staff (Credits: Forres Gazette)

Despite these concerning findings, the survey results showed some positive developments. More than 60% of staff said they would recommend their organization as a workplace, up from previous years.

The proportion of staff finding their work “emotionally exhausting” decreased, indicating some improvement in staff morale.

However, NHS staff still face challenges, with a significant number reporting experiences of discrimination at work. The survey also highlighted issues around access to nutritious and affordable food while on shift, with a significant proportion of staff reporting difficulties in this area.

While staff morale and workplace satisfaction have improved, the survey results indicate that more needs to be done to address the challenges facing NHS staff, including issues of sexual harassment, discrimination, and access to healthy food.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.