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RCOG statement on GMC report on undermining

News 5 December 2013

Today the GMC has published a report National training survey 2013: undermining looking at the 2013 training survey, summarising feedback from doctors in training and explaining what the GMC are doing in response.

The survey published in June showed that 13.2% of survey respondents had been victims of bullying and harassment in their posts – a slight increase from 13.1% in 2012.

Moreover the survey also showed that doctors training in obstetrics and gynaecology posts are more likely to report undermining than those in other posts. The report highlights the work of the RCOG and the RCM to address this issue through the joint action plan and the development of a tool kit for organisations to use in addressing unacceptable behaviours.

The report also states that doctors in years four to seven of specialty training are more likely to report undermining behaviour than those in foundation or core training. In addition female doctors made more comments about bullying and undermining than male doctors in the training survey.

To address these issues the GMC plans to continue to escalate and respond to instances of undermining or bullying that are not addressed locally, publish information on the concerns they have escalated, work with the colleges whose specialties feature more frequently in survey results and work with networks of doctors in training to explore how they can give further support to help them report undermining.

Dr David Richmond, President of the Royal College of Obsetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said:

“We welcome today’s report on undermining following the publication of this year’s National training survey.

“Trainees within our specialty have reported cases of undermining more than other specialties and we take this very seriously. It is vital that we work closely with our midwifery colleagues to provide high quality maternity care in an often very demanding work environment.

“We condemn undermining and bullying behaviour in the workplace and want to promote a positive working environment for all. This will benefit training and patient care. The RCOG and the RCM have already issued a joint statement emphasising our commitment to improving workplace behaviour.

“In order to address these issues we have established a steering group with the RCM to implement an action plan. We established a workplace behaviours adviser to lead on the College's strategy to address undermining behaviour in the specialty and are the first royal college to do this.

“In addition we have held workshops with the RCOG College Tutors Network to discuss undermining in detail and continue to work closely with the GMC.”


To read more about the RCOG/RCM joint statement on undermining and bullying behaviour please click here.

To read more about our work to improve workplace behaviours please click here.