Female NHS surgeon shares harrowing moment she was sexually assaulted in surgery – as 1 in 3 attacked | The Sun

ALMOST one in three female NHS surgeons have been sexually assaulted, a "deeply shocking" new study has revealed.

Eleven instances of rape were reported by those who took part in the research – the largest ever of its kind.

The survey, published in the British Journal of Surgery, found 29 per cent of women had experienced unwanted physical advances while at work in the last five years.

More than 40 per cent had also received uninvited comments about their body, while 38 per cent had suffered sexual banter.

And nearly nine out of 10 female respondents said they had witnessed some form of sexual misconduct.

The number was 81 per cent for men.


Disposable vapes will be banned in England as early as next week

Third of medical students ‘will quit the NHS within 2 years’ in alarming exodus

The report, compiled by the University of Exeter and commissioned by The Working Party on Sexual Misconduct in Surgery, analysed 1,434 responses to an anonymous online survey.

The authors concluded: "Sexual misconduct occurs frequently and appears to go unchecked in the surgical environment owing to a combination of a deeply hierarchical structure and a gender and power imbalance.

"The result is an unsafe working environment and an unsafe space for patients."

One surgeon, who was sexually assaulted early in her career, said a senior surgeon pushed his face into her breasts in the middle of a procedure while pretending to mop sweat from his brow.

Most read in Health


Disposable vapes will be banned in England as early as next week


The 6 balancing exercises to help you live longer – can you manage them?


I knew I was dying – asking docs a simple question can catch sepsis in time


Heartbreak as ‘spectacular’ girl, 4, died just hours before first day of school

He then did it for a second time, and the woman offered to get him a towel, but he responded with a smirk: "No, this is much for fun."

She told the BBC: "I felt dirty, I felt humiliated.

"He wasn't even the most senior person in the operating theatre, but he knew that behaviour was OK and that's just rotten."

Another woman said she had non-consensual sex with a consultant she "trusted" and "looked up to" after a social event tied to a medical conference.

The then-trainee described how her "body froze" and she "couldn't stop him", adding: "It's not what I wanted, it had never been what I wanted, it was totally unexpected."

But she felt unable to tell anyone as "there was a very strong culture of just putting up with whatever was done to you".

Tim Mitchell, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, described the findings as "deeply shocking".

While consultant surgeon Tamzin Cuming, who chairs the Women in Surgery forum at RCS England, said the report presents "some of the most appalling facts ever to come out" about the field and "represents a MeToo moment for surgery".


Writing in The Times, she added: "Our research reveals an environment where sexual assault, harassment and rape can occur among staff working in surgery but allows it to be ignored because the system protects those carrying it out rather than those affected.

"We need urgent change in the oversight of how healthcare investigates itself."

She called for the creation of a national implementation panel to oversee action on the report's recommendations and for incidents of sexual misconduct to be independently investigated.

"No one should need to call for a code of conduct that says, in essence, 'please do not molest your work colleagues or students', and yet this is one of the actions our report recommends," Ms Cuming said.

"The report is measured, its recommendations achievable, but this shouldn't disguise the anger and frustration felt by many in our profession."

MP Daisy Cooper, Liberal Democrat health and social care spokesperson, backed the demands, adding: "It’s a national scandal that NHS staff are not only victims of sexual misconduct in the workplace but are then left to suffer in silence.

"The government must stop dragging its heels and ensure there is tailored support for all those reporting incidents of this nature, and finally commit to creating a clear and systematic collection of data relating to reports of sexual misconduct within the health service for public and parliamentary scrutiny.


BBC radio DJ in on-air rant during final show which bosses tried to silence

Horror pics show 230ft cliff where reality star, 36, died in tragic car plunge

"Culture change is also needed inside the NHS and the government must get a grip to drive this through."

The results have been presented to NHS England, the General Medical Council and the British Medical Association.

Source: Read Full Article