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Sexual safety in healthcare charter: has your Trust signed?

08 Mar 2024

In September 2023, NHS England published a sexual safety in healthcare charter following concerns raised by the Working Party on Sexual Misconduct in Surgery (WPSMS) about the level of sexual misconduct in surgery and the wider NHS. The Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS England) was one of the very first signatories to the charter and we continue to support the WPSMS in tackling sexual misconduct

However, six months following its launch, dozens of NHS trusts have still not signed the charter.

RCS England wrote to 49 trusts who were not signatories at the start of this week (4 March 2024), impressing upon them the need for cultural change and encouraging them to sign the charter without delay. This has become all the more urgent following NHS Staff Survey results for 2023, published on 7 March, showing nearly 4% of respondents (almost 26,000 staff), have been the target of unwanted sexual behaviour from staff/colleagues in the NHS in the 12 months prior to the survey. 

The data reveals almost 9%, or more than 58,000 staff, also reported they have been the target of unwanted sexual behaviour in the NHS from patients, service users, their relatives or other members of the public in the 12 months prior to the survey. That figure doubled (18%) for medical and dental staff in training. You can read RCS England’s response here.

Is your Trust a charter signatory?

A full list of organisations that have signed the charter is available on the NHS website. Below we outline the responses to RCS England of those trusts who were not signatories as of 8 March 2024. We encourage all members to check if their NHS trust has signed the charter, and if not, to ask their employer to do so as soon as possible so we can work together to end sexual misconduct.

Trusts can sign up to the charter and find out more information on NHS England’s national domestic abuse and sexual violence work programme via

Trusts who told us they have previously signed but are not currently listed as signatories:

  • Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Trusts who have told us they will now sign:

  • Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust
  • The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
  • West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

An additional 12 trusts told us they are now signing the charter and their names are now listed on the NHS charter webpage

Trusts who have told us they are still reviewing whether to sign:

  • Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

No responses:

  • Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Herefordshire & Worcestershire Health & Care Trust
  • James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
  • Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust
  • South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  • Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
  • West London NHS Trust
  • Wirral Community Health & Care NHS Foundation Trust

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