Bullying and Undermining

Bullying harms your profession and your patients


“…health care professionals have attributed disruptive behaviour in the perioperative arena to 67% of adverse events, 71% of medical errors and 27% of perioperative deaths…”
The Joint Commission Journal on quality and patient safety. 34: 464-471 (2009)


The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) has a zero tolerance approach to bullying, undermining and harassment and categorically condemns this in all circumstances.

Disruptive behaviour in the surgical and dental environment does not allow staff to work in a supportive environment, is bad for patient safety and is not in keeping with the GMC's Good Medical Practice.

  • Has workplace bullying, undermining or harassment affected you?
  • Have you thought about how your behaviour might affect others?

The surgical and dental workplaces can be incredibly stressful environments. Stress can cause people to behave out of character, but functional working relationships are essential for team working and the safety of our patients.

Many of us have all seen examples of disruptive behaviour. The College aims to support its Fellows and Members to speak up, reflect on their own practice and change the culture.

We all have a role to play if we want to change the culture of the surgical and dental workplace.

Our thanks go to the following organisations and individuals for their help, advice and inspiration for this campaign:

  • RACS
  • RCOG
  • Professor Clare McKenzie, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee
  • Professor Steven Tobin, RACS
  • Dr Mark Stacey, Wales Deanery
  • Elaine Russ, CUREMeDE, Cardiff University
  • Dr Francesca Norris, Cardiff University


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