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UK cardiology societies issue joint policy statement to stamp out unacceptable behaviors



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The British Junior Cardiologists’ Association (BJCA) and the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) have issued a joint position statement in a bid to stamp out bullying, harassment, discrimination and other “unacceptable” and “unprofessional” behaviors in the specialty.

The statement, published online in the journal Heart, urges every cardiology team member to call out these behaviors to drive culture change.

Endorsed by 19 organizations affiliated with the BCS, the statement represents a specialty-wide response to the issue.

It comes in the wake of evidence suggesting that these behaviors are common in UK cardiology departments, and may be indicative of longstanding cultural and practice issues, fueled by previous training and unconscious biases, says the statement.


Data from the General Medical Council trainee survey suggest that bullying in cardiology is almost double the average across all medical specialties: 12.3% vs. 6.9%, highlights the statement.

Bullying is associated with poorer performance, a heightened risk of medical error, lost productivity, burn-out and absenteeism. It accounts for half of all stress-related workplace illness, the statement points out.

Inappropriate in cardiology departments has a detrimental ripple effect, including on the recruitment and retention of staff, patient care, and other bystanders, says the statement.

“As such, improving the culture and professional behaviors within UK cardiology departments is of paramount importance,” it insists.

The statement sets out examples of inappropriate behavior. These include bullying; sexist, racist, homophobic or belittling language; discrimination; harassment; providing or depriving individuals of opportunities based purely on personal characteristics; outbursts of uncontrolled anger; and unconstructive criticism of performance.

And it highlights the common misconception in the specialty that intimidation helps to ‘build character’ and is how cardiologists were trained in the past.

“This is an anachronistic and flawed concept: intimidating language or actions do not build character and have substantial negative impacts on those affected. Furthermore, role modeling and learnt behaviors lead to perpetuating the cycle of bullying,” it emphasizes.

“While mistakes happen in medicine and may require frank feedback to aid learning, they are not an excuse for intimidating or belittling behavior or language,” it adds.

Senior team members should lead by example, and act swiftly to respond to concerns. But every member of the cardiology team has a duty to call out inappropriate behaviors to drive culture change and foster a positive working environment, says the statement.

Informal feedback for one-off episodes may be appropriate, but serious events or repeat offenses warrant escalation through formal channels, it says.

Ignoring such behavior simply helps to perpetuate it, emphasizes the statement, adding that safeguards are needed to protect those who raise concerns from being penalized.

Several strategies are required at the individual, departmental, and national level to improve the culture within UK cardiology, concludes the statement. These are:

For departments and individuals

  • Set out clear standards and expectations of behavioral norms from all members of the cardiovascular team
  • Encourage the reporting of inappropriate behaviors
  • Ensure clear policies, practices and procedures are in place for dealing with inappropriate behavior, iteratively reviewed, and included in induction and staff handbooks
  • Designate and train a behavior lead with whom concerns can be raised
  • Consider any episodes of inappropriate behavior in the selection process for promotions and
  • Make routine use of multi-source feedback where evidence of all behaviors can be raised
  • Provide mandatory training for all on workplace culture; how to give and receive structured feedback; unconscious bias; and cardiology-specific human factors

For universities and national bodies

  • Develop a positive organizational culture and ensure that similar standards of behavior are expected of members (national bodies)
  • Establish a transparent cardiology reporting strategy for inappropriate behavior
  • Incorporate Freedom to Speak Up Guardians into the reporting and responding strategies in NHS Trusts
  • Include a person tasked with promoting professional standards on committees (national bodies)
  • Consider incidences of inappropriate behavior when allocating funding and advancement in cardiovascular research (universities and funders)
  • Include past inappropriate behavior when considering people for roles within their organization, at meetings, or the presentation of awards (national bodies)
  • Ensure that appropriate mentors and advisors outside of the direct supervisory chain are available to everyone taking part in cardiovascular research (universities)
  • Develop appropriate training packages to improve accessibility to departments and individuals that are reasonably priced and included in study budgets (national bodies)

“As with clinical standards, professional societies have a role in developing a standard for appropriate behavior and a responsibility to ensure that is shown to be unacceptable,” says the statement.

BCS President Professor John Greenwood comments: “No-one should be discriminated against at work, bullied, harassed or undermined. In cardiology we have had this pervasive culture for far too long. This statement and its practical recommendations represent a concerted effort to stop bullying in its tracks and put measures in place to stop it happening in the future. We will be taking the statement to our annual conference at the beginning of June to raise awareness and discuss implementation of the recommendations across the UK.”

Dr. Christian Fielder Camm, BJCA President, adds, “The detrimental effect of inappropriate workplace behavior can be profound and all those involved in UK and cardiovascular medicine have a responsibility to face up to this longstanding problem.”

“This document is a significant step forward in acknowledging this important issue and providing clear recommendations for individuals, departments, and national bodies to tackle this problem.”

More information:
Consensus statement: Joint British Societies’ position statement on bullying, harassment and discrimination in cardiology, Heart (2023). DOI: 10.1136/heartjnl-2023-322445

Journal information:

Provided by
British Medical Journal

UK cardiology societies issue joint policy statement to stamp out unacceptable behaviors (2023, May 30)
retrieved 30 May 2023

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.


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The Key Role of Trustworthy Babysitters in Balancing Work and Family Life




Are you a busy parent in constant pursuit of the elusive work-life balance? We know firsthand how overwhelming and challenging it can be to juggle professional commitments while still having quality time with your children.

That’s why we’re here to discuss an essential ingredient that unlocks the secret to harmony: trustworthy babysitters.

What Characteristics Parents Should Look for When Choosing a Babysitter?

Parents should look for a few key characteristics when choosing a babysitter. A good babysitter should be patient, responsible, and reliable. They should also be comfortable with children and have prior experience caring for them.

Besides, the babysitter must be able to communicate effectively and follow directions well. The babysitter should be someone the parents can trust to care for their children in their absence.


Strategies for Parents to Establish Reasonable Anticipations

As a parent, finding babysitters you can trust to care for your children is vital. However, it is also important to establish reasonable expectations for your babysitters.

Some tips for establishing reasonable expectations for babysitters include:

  1. Set clear expectations: Sit down with your babysitter to discuss bedtime routines, dietary preferences, and any necessary medications.
  2. Allow flexibility: While clarity is vital, also provide room for your babysitter to use their judgment and feel comfortable in their role.
  3. Trust their expertise: Once expectations are set, trust your babysitter’s judgment as a professional caregiver to avoid undermining their authority and creating discomfort in their role.

Determining a Fair Payment Plan

Determine your babysitting budget, factoring in your income and family size, while researching local rates. Account for the babysitter’s experience and qualifications, giving preference to those recommended by trusted sources.

Engage in open negotiations with your chosen babysitter. This aims to find a mutually agreeable arrangement that accommodates both your budget and their needs.

Tips on Finding Trustworthy and Compassionate Caregivers

When seeking a caregiver for your child, to ensure you find the right fit:

  • Seek recommendations from trusted sources such as friends, family, and neighbours who may have suggestions for caregivers in your area.
  • Conduct online research to review feedback and check references to gauge candidates’ qualifications and experience.
  • Request references and contact details from the caregivers’ previous employers or families they have worked with.
  • Trust your instincts and ensure you feel at ease with the caregiver, ensuring they are someone you can entrust with your child’s well-being.


Being able to trust your babysitter means you can have peace of mind knowing your child is safe and cared for.

Spending some time researching online reviews or asking friends and family for recommendations will help you find the perfect fit so you can feel more at ease while juggling work commitments in today’s hectic world.

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Facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home



THUNDER BAY — St. Joseph’s Care Group and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit have declared a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home, part of the St. Joseph’s Heritage complex on Carrie Street near Red River Road.

The respiratory outbreak at the 112-bed facility was declared effective Sept. 15 but only announced publicly on Monday.

No details were provided with regard to the number of people affected to date.

Restrictions are now in place for admissions, transfers, discharges, social activities and visitation until further notice.




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Alberta COVID hospitalizations up 73% since July: health minister



Three weeks after the start of the school year, Alberta’s health minister provided an update on the spread of airborne viruses in the province.

Adriana LaGrange also said more information about flu and next-generation COVID-19 vaccines will soon be released.

“Now that we will be spending more time indoors, we need to make doubly sure we are following proper hygiene protocols like handwashing and staying home when sick,” LaGrange said. “It also means respecting those who choose to wear a mask.”


Global News previously reported that influenza vaccines will be available on Oct. 16 with the new Moderna vaccine formulated to target the XBB.1.5 variant likely to be available at around the same time. On Sept. 12, Health Canada approved the use of the Moderna vaccine.

“More information on immunizations against respiratory viruses including influenza and COVID-19 will be available shortly,” the health minister said.

LaGrange said there have been 28 cases of influenza and five lab-confirmed cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) since Aug. 28.

“This is consistent activity for this time of the year,” the health minister said in a statement.

The end of August or the beginning of September has typically marked the beginning of flu season for provincial health authorities.

LaGrange also provided an update on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the province.

From Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, there were a total 92 new hospitalizations and three ICU admissions, bringing the total to 417 in hospital and seven in ICU, a 73 per cent increase of COVID hospitalizations from the last reported info.

On July 24 – the last update to the province’s COVID data dashboard – there were only 242 in hospital.

“Sadly, five Albertans died during that period due to COVID-19,” LaGrange said.

LaGrange said the reporting dashboard is being refreshed to include RSV, influenza and COVID-19 data, work that was originally expected to be completed on Aug. 30. The latest data on the province’s influenza statistics dashboard is dated July 22.

“This work is currently underway and will be available in the coming weeks,” LaGrange said.

She said data for the dates between July 24 and Aug. 27 will be available when the new dashboard goes online.

Amid more hospitals continent-wide reinstating masking requirements in the face of increased hospitalizations, the health minister made no mention of any such moves for Alberta hospitals. Acute care COVID-19 outbreaks in Alberta jumped from Sept. 5 to 12, with 146 per cent more healthcare workers and 55 per cent more patients testing positive for COVID.

LaGrange stressed the “collective responsibility” to prevent the spread of airborne viruses like COVID and influenza.

“As a mother and grandmother, I understand the anxiety that comes with sending your children back to school. I want to reassure you that Alberta’s government has the health and well-being of all young Albertans top of mind,” the health minister said.

–with files from Meghan Cobb, Global News



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