Murrumbidgee LHD signs RACS Respect Agreement

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13 December 2016

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at building respect and improving patient safety in surgery will be signed
between the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) in
Wagga Wagga tomorrow Wednesday 14 December.

The agreement, a collaboration under the RACS 2015 Action Plan: Building Respect, Improving Patient Safety, commits
both organisations to a shared vision of providing high quality training, education and experience in the practice of
surgery.

MLHD has a shared interest with RACS to deal with issues of discrimination, bullying, and sexual harassment (DBSH) to ensure a safe learning and working environment. RACS and MLHD will work together in addressing these issues.

RACS Vice President Spencer Beasley said the College strongly supported MLHD's efforts.

"RACS and MLHD are firm believers in the rights of all healthcare professionals to a safe training and work environment where they can realise their full potential," Professor Beasley said.

"We know that if we can improve the culture of medicine, and surgery in particular, we can expect better patient
outcomes. This is a powerful reason why we wish to work together with this initiative."

MLHD Board Chair Gayle Murphy said that the agreement would strengthen the hospital's initiatives to improve patient safety and overall workplace culture.

"Under the agreement, we will further explore methods to mutually support each other in activities that promote respect,
and counter discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in the practice of surgery, to improve patient safety," Ms
Murphy said.

Specific initiatives include:

  • Collaborating on the development of programs and processes to deal with DBSH in the workplace
  • Sharing relevant information and resources regarding the education and training available with the respective institutions
  • Supporting greater diversity within the surgical profession.
  • Working together to ensure that surgeons and Trainees are able to undertake required training and education in relation to DBSH, including in relation to clinical training supervision, skills courses and general courses.

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