This area of the website provides resources to help deal with bullying and undermining at a strategic level, as part of the RCOG/RCM undermining toolkit. The author of this section is Malcolm Griffiths.
This section of the undermining toolkit outlines interventions that can be taken at a strategic level to address bullying, harassment and undermining. For the purposes of the toolkit, ‘strategic’ interventions are actions for over-arching institutions such as the wider NHS, the General Medical Council (GMC), the RCOG, the RCM and others to take in the long term.
Intolerance of inappropriate workplace behaviours needs to be clearly expressed by over-arching institutions and their leaders, and everyone working in these organisations should be aware of this position. Therefore, leaders need to discuss and deal with poor behaviours in an open arena so that everyone is aware of how seriously the problem is taken, while maintaining the confidentiality and dignity of victims and perpetrators wherever possible.
Very occasionally, victims (and more often perpetrators) will not wish to discuss grievances and concerns. Clinical leaders and managers may nevertheless need to take on some such cases to protect others (potential collateral or future victims) or to maintain patient safety and a supportive learning environment.
These strategic interventions are applicable to multiple and wide-ranging organisations, including (but not limited to) the NHS, regulatory and professional bodies and medical royal colleges. They aim to achieve wide-scale change and send positive messages to support that change. For success, they require ‘buy-in’ from senior leadership figures.
We are keen to continue to develop the undermining toolkit. If you have any additional good practice examples and resources that you think would be useful, please email Sophie Johnsson.