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RCOG and RCM joint statement on undermining and bullying in the workplace

The RCOG and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) are committed to working together to promote positive workplace behaviours, improve the working environment for our workforce, and deliver compassionate care to women and families.

June 2021

Together, we are promoting a positive working environment for all. One where individuals and teams treat each other with consideration, dignity and respect. A safe working environment where honest but constructive feedback and speaking up are encouraged. An environment where women and families are central to the care we provide.

To help embed this positive environment and address the challenge of poor behaviour in maternity and gynaecology services, the RCM and RCOG have developed a Workplace Behaviour Toolkit. This resource is one way we can help to combat the problems that result from poor behaviour and raise awareness of it. The toolkit has information for those who feel they have been bullied, those who witness bullying behaviour and those accused of being a bully. It also provides advice on how to address issues with poor workplace behaviours at a departmental and a deanery level.

The RCM and the RCOG together categorically condemn undermining and bullying behaviour under any circumstance. We are committed to creating cultures of civility, kindness and respect. Misunderstandings will occur. Addressing them promptly and effectively will help restore working relationships and help to develop positive and effective workplace behaviours.

We recognise the significant impact that poor workplace behaviours can have on patient safety, as well as the cost to the individuals involved and the impact on retention and recruitment of the workforce. Incivility reduces the cognition and clinical performance of both those subject to poor behaviours and those witnessing the poor behaviours. We are committed to addressing this and doing all we can to promote positive behaviours and support our workforce.

We would like to thank all those who contributed to the toolkit and shared real life stories with us. We strongly encourage all of our members to make use of this resource – every one of us has a part to play in promoting positive workplace behaviour and compassionate leadership across our professions.


1. Workplace Behaviour Toolkit

2. RCOG Learning module Improving Workplace Behaviour (free to RCOG members)

3. RCM Caring For You hub

4. RCM Health, Safety and Wellbeing