13 February 2017
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at building respect
and improving patient safety in
surgery has been signed between the Royal Australasian College of
Surgeons (RACS) and Metro North
Hospital and Health Service in Queensland.
The MoU, a collaboration formed under the RACS 2015 Action Plan:
Building Respect, Improving Patient
Safety, commits both organisations to collaborate 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,
RACS and Metro North will work together to promote a culture of
respect, improve support to surgical
supervisors to be better equipped to provide training, assessment
and feedback to trainees, and explore
methods to improve management of complaints.
Both organisations agree to support greater diversity within the
surgical profession and have agreed to
share information and resources regarding the education and
training available within each institution in
relation to discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment.
RACS President Phil Truskett said the College has a shared
interest in dealing with these issues with
Metro North and reinforced a joint commitment based on shared
values of integrity and respect.
"RACS and Metro North strongly support the rights of all
healthcare professionals to a safe training and
work environment where they can realise their full potential," he
"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 are working
together with this initiative."
Metro North Chair Dr Robert Stable said that the agreement would
strengthen initiatives to improve
patient safety and enrich overall workplace culture.
"As healthcare professionals, we spend our days caring for others.
This agreement is a commitment to
improving how we treat each other.
"Signing the MoU is only the first step. As a leader in
healthcare, Metro North aims to also become a
leader in providing a safe, supportive and respectful work
environment," Dr Stable said.
"Metro North is developing an education program and action plan to
support our commitment."
In May 2016, RACS launched Let's Operate with Respect - a campaign
to help deal effectively with
DBSH in surgery. Further information can be found on a dedicated
new section on the RACS website
called About Respect.
About Metro North
Metro North Hospital and Health Service is Queensland's largest
health service, with 17,000 staff. Metro North has
five hospitals, including two tertiary/quaternary facilities, two
community hospitals and a small rural hospital, as well
as a broad range of community health, specialist residential care,
oral health and mental health services. In addition
to general healthcare services, Metro North provides super
specialist and statewide services such as organ
transplantation, burns care, cardiology, cancer care, and maternal
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