In light of media coverage today on sexual harassment in the ambulance sector, we want to reaffirm our commitment to tackling this issue.

Last year we signed the NHS Sexual Safety Charter. You can read more about this important step here.  SECAmb signs new NHS Sexual Safety Charter – NHS South East Coast Ambulance Service

We also want to share a message we have sent to all colleagues this morning from our Chair, Chief Executive and Director of Quality & Nursing/Sexual Safety Lead:


Dear Colleagues,

You may be aware that today, Sky News are covering the sexual harassment that has been experienced by former and current ambulance service colleagues.

The accounts shared by the victims are truly awful and something that as a sector, we cannot and must not tolerate.

We want to be extremely clear with everyone today that we will not accept sexually inappropriate behaviour within SECAmb in any form. If anyone behaves in an inappropriate way, there will be consequences to those actions.

We all have a part to play to ensure the safety of our people, including our students, volunteers and contractors, but there are steps as a Board that we are taking to reinforce this commitment.

In December, we signed up to the NHS Sexual Safety Charter which provides a clear framework for tackling this issue. A task and finish group are already working to ensure we meet the requirements of the Charter; this will include a pledge that we should all commit to, regardless of role, to clearly show our personal commitment to making our workplace a safe place.

We are strengthening our policies and, in practical terms, making sure that where such behaviour is found to have taken place, we take action. Our Until it Stops campaign and training and the continuing roll-out of the ‘A Kinder SECAmb’ workshops are positive steps that we have been taking to change behaviours.

The coverage today recognises the increased vulnerability faced by learners, whether as a direct entry student or as an employed individual and this is an important area of focus for us.

Sexual safety is a key area for our training and education colleagues – our Practice Educators all undertake training from the College of Paramedics and we have also chosen to add an additional one-day, in person workshop for students which allows for discussion on a number of topics including sexual safety. We will continue to work closely with ambulance service partners and higher education institutes to look at how student safety can be further improved.

It is important that if you or someone you know in the Trust has been the victim of such behaviour you come forward. We understand this can be difficult but if we are going to address this behaviour, we all have to make a stand against it.

If would like to speak to someone, either reach out to someone you feel safe to talk to so they can take action on your behalf or contact our Freedom to Speak Up Service.

This will remain a key area of focus for us in the coming weeks and months and there is more we need to do.

Everyone in SECAmb has a part to play – the behaviour we don’t challenge is the behaviour we accept.

David Astley, Chair; Simon Weldon, Chief Executive; Margaret Dalziel, Director of Quality & Nursing/Sexual Safety Lead