Work 'progressing' to launch BMA sexual harassment investigation

The BMA has confirmed 'work is progressing' to appoint an independent investigator to lead an inquiry into sexual harassment and sexism reported by senior women within the organisation.

BMA House (Photo: Malcolm Case Green)
BMA House (Photo: Malcolm Case Green)

The BMA apologised and promised an 'immediate and independent' investigation last week after senior women within its GP committee spoke out about experiences of harassment, sexist behaviour, belittling comments and being ignored at meetings or excluded.

In a statement, the BMA confirmed that terms of reference for the investigation are 'being developed' and that once this process is complete it will invite 'appropriate parties' to tender to lead the investigation.

A BMA spokesperson said: 'Work is progressing to appoint an independent party to carry out the investigation into allegations of sexual harassment within the BMA. At this stage, the terms of reference are being developed to ensure the scope of the inquiry thoroughly covers all relevant aspects.

Tendering process

'Appropriate parties will then be invited to tender, following due process. The timing for the publication of the findings will be decided as part of the overall terms of reference.'

No indication has been given as to who could lead the investigation at the BMA, but an investigation into bullying reported within NHS Highland is being carried out by a QC. A QC was also appointed in 2017 to investigate a complaint of sexual harassment reported within the Labour party.

GPonline reported earlier this week that the next BMA annual representative meeting (ARM) - set to take place in Belfast this June - could debate problems with sexism and harassment and the existing complaints process within the association.

BMA regional divisions have tabled motions for debate at the conference, including one from Buckinghamshire that warns doctors are 'actively discouraged' from reporting concerns because of concerns over the fitness for purpose of the current complaints mechanism.

BMA criticised

Senior women GPs who have called out sexism and harassment have been critical of part of the BMA's early response.

GPs accused the BMA of lacking insight after it called on women who have experienced sexism and harassment within the organisation to come forward before an independent investigation promised by the union has been established.

The union has urged members to come forward with concerns through the BMA’s existing complaints process - and BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul personally emailed women who have spoken out publicly to offer support from consultants appointed by the BMA.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GPs not responsible for 'holiday cancellation letters' amid coronavirus outbreak, RCGP warns

GPs not responsible for 'holiday cancellation letters' amid coronavirus outbreak, RCGP warns

Insurers and travel companies have been asking patients to obtain letters from their...

Fully-qualified GP workforce down 277 over the past year

Fully-qualified GP workforce down 277 over the past year

The GP workforce lost 277 fully-qualified, full-time equivalent (FTE) doctors in...

Talking General Practice - the new podcast from GPonline

Talking General Practice - the new podcast from GPonline

GPonline is launching a new podcast called Talking General Practice - listen to our...

GPs should not prescribe antibiotics for impetigo, says NICE

GPs should not prescribe antibiotics for impetigo, says NICE

GPs should prescribe hydrogen peroxide 1% cream rather than topical antibiotics for...

Network of 100 GP practices to carry out coronavirus surveillance testing

Network of 100 GP practices to carry out coronavirus surveillance testing

A network of 100 primary care sites across England will carry out opportunistic testing...

PCNs must check payment rules for clinical directors to avoid tax penalties

PCNs must check payment rules for clinical directors to avoid tax penalties

Primary care networks (PCNs) have just a month to make sure they are paying their...