Nurses' sex harassment claims ‘ignored by bosses’. 2019. (accessed 3 July 2019)

Making the workplace safe

11 July 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 13

Bullying, harassment and sexual harassment of hospital staff is a serious matter that requires urgent attention.

In May, nurses at the Royal College of Nursing's (RCN) annual Congress said patients felt they could get away with inappropriate comments or touching. They linked this to the ‘sexy nurses’ stereotype, created in part by the Carry On films, and alleged that hospital bosses dismissed sexual harassment claims as an ‘occupational hazard’ (Taylor, 2019).

Nurses are already in short supply and hospital leaders cannot afford to allow this issue to spread and harm employee wellbeing and performance.

At the RCN Congress, nurses spoke out about the harassment they had suffered. Nikki Williams, a nurse from north-west London, said she was threatened with rape by a patient who said he would be waiting outside for her when she finished work. When she reported the incident, she was told she should expect this type of comment from people in her area of work.

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