Helping to tackle discrimination

To help tackle discrimination, there’s a strengthened paragraph to make clear that doctors ‘must not abuse, discriminate against, bully or harass anyone based on their personal characteristics, or for any other reason” (paragraph 56). And there’s a new paragraph to state that doctors ‘must not act in a sexual way towards colleagues with the effect or purpose of causing offence, embarrassment, humiliation or distress’ (paragraph 57).

The following paragraphs have also been added, to encourage witnesses to these behaviours to take action. This is split into:

  • a ‘you should’ paragraph for all doctors, with suggestions about the kinds of actions to take, while acknowledging that speaking up can be difficult (paragraph 58)
  • and a ‘you must’ paragraph for doctors in formal leadership or management roles, who must ‘make sure such behaviours are adequately addressed, make sure people are supported where necessary, and make sure concerns are dealt with promptly, being escalated where necessary’ (paragraph 59).

There are also new paragraphs which aim to prevent discrimination by encouraging doctors to seek to understand themselves and others:

  • ‘You must take steps to…develop and improve your performance and the quality of your work…[including] regularly reflecting on your standards of practice and the care you provide, including…considering how your life experience, culture and beliefs influence your interactions with others and may impact on the decisions you make and the care you provide’ (paragraph 13)
  • ‘You should be aware of the risk of bias, and consider how your own life experience, culture and beliefs influence your interactions with others, and may impact on your decisions and actions’ (paragraph 54)
  • ‘You must show respect for and sensitivity towards others’ life experience, cultures and beliefs’ (paragraph 55).