Hospital operating theatres plagued by racist, sexist and homophobic abuse

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Racism, sexism, and homophobia is widespread in hospital operating theatres across England, according to an independent report.

In a damning verdict on the atmosphere in some surgical teams, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC said the ‘old boys’ network of alpha male surgeons was preventing some doctors from rising to the top and had fuelled an oppressive environment for women, ethnic minorities and trainee surgeons.

The report was commissioned by the Royal College of Surgeons and lays bare the “discrimination and unacceptable behaviour” taking place in some surgical teams.

It warned: “The findings do not cast surgeons or the college in a progressive, modern or particularly attractive light” adding: “We have heard of ‘jokes’ being made about rape and sexual assault and about ‘the n-word’ being used by surgeons.”

One surgeon of Middle Eastern heritage was introduced to colleagues as “the departmental terrorist” while doctors of South Asian background were described as having a “corner shop mentality” and women of colour repeatedly being called each other’s names.

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