Alfred Health today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) aimed at building respect and improving patient safety in surgery.

The MoU collaboration under the RACS 2015 Action Plan: Building Respect, Improving Patient Safety, is the third such agreement signed in Victoria and represents a shared commitment by the organisations to address discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in surgery and the health sector.

Dr John Batten, President of RACS said that it was essential that organisations worked together to create safe training and work environments, free from discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment.

"In the past, bullying has been a real problem in surgery and in the heath sector as a whole. It is essential, not only for the well-being of our workforce but for the well-being of our patients too, that we work together to build a culture of respect where all healthcare professionals can realise their full potential free from discrimination, bullying or sexual harassment."

Alfred Health CEO, Prof Andrew Way, said the Alfred Health Board, hospital administration and staff are committed to providing a safe and supportive workplace.

"We're pleased to partner with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons on this important issue," Prof Way said.

"At Alfred Health, we are known and valued for our high-quality work and the care we give to our patients.

"We know that staff welfare and quality patient care go hand-in-hand. Providing a safe and supportive workplace not only benefits our staff, but also improves patient outcomes."

Specific initiatives in the MoU signed between Alfred Health and RACS include:

  • Sharing information and resources between the two organisations for education and training.
  • Supporting greater diversity within the surgical profession.
  • Working together to ensure that surgeons and trainees are able to undertake training and education in relation to discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment.
  • Sharing information about on how complaints relating to unacceptable behaviour are managed.

In May 2016, RACS launched Let's Operate with Respect - a campaign to help deal effectively with discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in surgery. RACS has also published a dedicated new section of its website, About Respect.

About Alfred Health

Alfred Health is a leading metropolitan health service, caring for local communities in southern and Bayside Melbourne as well as for the broader Victorian community through its three hospital campuses and numerous clinics and community-based services. It offers the most comprehensive range of specialist medical and surgical services in Victoria, with 13 statewide services and one national service.

Alfred Health provides almost every form of medical treatment across its three hospital campuses, including at The Alfred, Caulfield Hospital and Sandringham Hospital.

It also shares important research and development links with the Baker ID, the Burnet Institute and Monash University. 

Alfred Health