The Supporting our Doctors Task Group was established to produce a College-wide strategy for supporting doctors in difficulty and related resources for managing work-place challenges. The strategy and resources developed by the group will focus on preventing, minimising and managing training and work-place based stress. It will also aim to remove the taboo currently felt around such issues.
- Culture – Advocate for workplace cultures that encourage collaborative learning and support and minimise fear, discrimination and attrition
- Peer to Peer - Champion and facilitate peer to peer collaboration, enabling HCPs to practice to the best of their ability by learning from and supporting each other
- Wellbeing – Understand and articulate the workplace related factors that contribute to burnout and stress making recommendations to better support doctors
- Complaints Handling – Develop a nationally recognised, consistent and fair approach to complaints handling, which enables and promotes more local resolutions
- Collaboration – Partner with likeminded organisations to promote and develop information and services for managing work-place challenges e.g. GMC, RCSEd, RCM, NCAS, MDOs
- Awareness – Create a highly visible and easily accessible central resource of services and information to help people manage work-place challenges
The RCOG have been working with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) to provide clinicians and managers with anti-bullying strategies. The two Colleges have met twice, most recently in September when the RCSEd hosted a joint event on anti-bullying and undermining. The day included workshops to explore practical aspects of anti-bullying strategies in the workplace and will be followed by a further event at RCOG on 4 April 2019.
A roundtable meeting was held on 25 September hosted by the NHS ‘National Freedom To Speak Up Guardian’, Dr Henrietta Hughes. Attendees included representatives from Royal Colleges, the GMC, NHS Employers, the BMA and organisations with resources and services to address bullying and undermining in the workplace. The College has proposed that the organisations form an Alliance advocating jointly for improved workplace cultures and raising awareness of the support services available.
GMC Top Tips
The task group has collaborated with the GMC on top tips to be sent to doctors when they are first informed that a complaint has been made against them. The aim is to let doctors know what to expect next, including information on the process and expected timescales. The top tips also seek to reassure doctors by including statistics on number of enquiries, percentage that are investigated and percentage upheld.
Roundtable – Independent Review on Gross Negligence Manslaughter and Culpable Homicide
The College has been actively engaging with Government and regulators following significant concerns from the RCOG’s membership, in particular its trainees, about the issues surrounding gross negligence manslaughter and how it’s applied in medical practice.
As well as providing written and oral evidence to the Sir Norman Williams Review, the College has submitted written evidence to the Independent Review on Gross Negligence Manslaughter and Culpable Homicide, commissioned by the GMC. To further influence the review and the way local, national and regulatory bodies respond when things get stressful, the College invited the Chair of the review (Leslie Hamilton) to meet with RCOG members as part of a roundtable discussion to explore some of the issues in more depth.
As part of RCOG’s 2017/18 Workforce Survey we included questions to assess the impact that workforce challenges are having on doctors’ wellbeing and ability to deliver safe services. The intention is to secure evidence that supports our workforce advocacy and lobbying activities supporting the need to improve workplace conditions.
Task Group members
The group consists of representatives from across the profession and health care, please see below for a list of current members:
- Pat O'Brien – Vice President for Membership
- Mark Slack – O&G Consultant, Cambridge
- Tom Bourne – Consultant Gynaecologist, Imperial College
- Christoph Lees – Consultant Gynaecologist, Queen Charlotte’s
- Kirsty Dundas – Fellows’ Representative for Scotland
- Rachna Bahl – RCOG Workplace Behaviour Advisor
- Linda Cardozo – O&G Consultant, Kings College
- Jo Mountfield – O&G Consultant, Director of Education & Workforce, University Hospital Southampton
- Karen Ellison – Medicolegal Adviser, Medical Protection Society (MPS)
- Karen Wadman – NCAS representative
- Anna Rowland – GMC representative
- Steve Powis – National Medical Director
- Laura Hipple – SAS/Trust doctor Lead
- Jennifer Woodside – RCOG Executive Director, Membership and Global
- Patricia Akullo – Committee secretary