Anna Parry, Managing Director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) said:
Improving sexual safety and reducing misogyny within the UK’s statutory ambulance sector is a key priority for AACE and its members, with an extensive programme of work underway to confront both inappropriate and outdated elements of workplace culture that must change if ambulance services are to enable their students, employees and volunteers to truly feel safe at work.
This is why we have an agreed national consensus that sets out the sector’s shared commitment to lead meaningful reduction of misogyny and improvement of sexual safety focused on reducing harm through a learning approach to change. By removing barriers to speaking up and enabling greater access to support, our aim is to embed a culture of respect, understanding and safety across all UK statutory ambulance services.
Bron Biddle, Programme Lead (Reducing Misogyny & Improving Sexual Safety) at AACE added:
A specific suite of co-produced evidence-based interventions has been identified by AACE to support organisations and individuals to reduce harm and work towards prevention over time and in a gradual way that begins to address these issues differently to bring about positive cultural change in our member services.
To truly understand our climate of misogyny and sexual harassment, we recognise that we need to ask questions, listen, create space, and hold that space if we want to build trust with affected colleagues. Our dedicated programme of work is enabling a growing community of advocates throughout our organisations to share continual learning and respond to related concerns appropriately.
Daren Mochrie QAM, Chair of AACE said:
We do not underestimate the scale of the challenge we face in this area within the ambulance sector, as well as within other parts of the NHS, and at a societal level. However, all current and prospective ambulance employees, students and volunteers can be assured of our commitment to improving sexual safety and reducing misogyny across all our member services through a comprehensive and progressive programme of work designed to effect meaningful cultural change.
AACE and NHS England have both signed up to the Sexual Safety in Healthcare Organisational Charter which represents the key framework for health and care systems to ensure the sexual safety of all staff working in NHS ambulance services in England.