A new resource to support doctors facing racism at work has been launched by the General Medical Council (GMC).

On the GMC’s website, it wrote:

“The dedicated area brings together current GMC guidance and is focused on supporting those who experience discrimination. It gives advice on how to tackle it, whether personally or as a bystander. It also highlights expectations of employers and medical leaders to foster inclusive cultures, where people feel supported to challenge racism, and signposts to how and where a concern or issue can be raised.”

A recent survey by the British Medical Association reported 76% of respondents had experienced racism in their workplace on at least one occasion in the last two years. The experiences highlight not just the impact of racism on those who suffer it, but the essential role of employers and witnesses in challenging racist behaviour, including:

  • expectations of those in senior positions in tackling and rooting out discrimination where it arises
  • duties of conduct towards colleagues and patients
  • resources for employers on creating inclusive, non-discriminatory environments.

Professor Colin Melville, Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards at the GMC said:

‘Everyone has the right to come to work without fear of experiencing racism, but as we know only too well, and as the BMA’s recent survey underlines, this is a very real challenge that we must work together on across our healthcare system.

‘We are clear: there is zero tolerance for racism of any kind, and we all have a responsibility to act when we witness it.

‘We understand speaking up in the moment or acting upon racist behaviour in the workplace can be challenging or daunting, so it’s important for support and guidance to be readily available and easily accessible. Equally, we must encourage working cultures where doctors feel supported and empowered to speak up, if discrimination of any kind does take place.’

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