A partnership agreement aimed at building respect and improving patient safety has just been signed between the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO).
The agreement, which cements a willingness to work together to address discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in surgery and in health care more broadly, is a collaboration formed under RACS' 2015 Action Plan: Building Respect, Improving Patient Safety, and is the 32nd to be signed, following on from a number of other health services across Australia and New Zealand.
The partnership includes the sharing of educational resources, particularly RACS' Foundation Skills for Surgical Educators (FSSE) course, communication tools to encourage awareness of the need to address discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment, as well as sharing information about complaints handling.
RACS President Mr John Batten said he is looking forward to working more closely with RANZCO to ensure the delivery of education, training and awareness of cultural change. "This is a shared commitment to providing high quality training and a safe working environment to our Fellows," John Batten said.
RANZCO President Associate Professor Mark Daniell said he is very pleased to take a collaborative approach to improving workplace behaviours.
"The commitment RANZCO shares with RACS is underpinned by our collective objectives of advancing training, education, research and professional standards in our respective specialties, and is a major step forward in making our workplaces safer for all," Associate Professor Daniell said.
The agreement includes:
- collaboration on the development of programs and processes to deal with discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace, in surgery and in the health sector more broadly;
- sharing of information and resources regarding the education and training available with the respective institutions in relation to discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment;
- co-brand communications relating to discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment as agreed for each occurrence, including marketing collateral, social media, promotional photos, videos and articles.
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 section of its website, About Respect.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) is the medical college responsible for the training and professional development of ophthalmologists in Australia and New Zealand. On completion of training, ophthalmologists are equipped to undertake safe, unsupervised, comprehensive ophthalmology practice.