2 years down… many more to come!

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10th June 2024 marks 2 years since www.survivinginscrubs.co.uk was launched. It’s been a busy couple of years, and here is what our two founders have to say about the journey so far… 

First up, Chelcie…

I cannot believe that Surviving in Scrubs has been going for two years! It’s weird, because in one sense, we still feel pretty new as an organisation, but on the other hand we have accomplished and done so many things that 2 years ago, we never would have thought possible!

I am terrible at standing still and reflecting on past accomplishments, but I can say that I am extremely proud of where our organisation is right now. We know that we are nowhere near fixing the state of sexual misconduct in healthcare, but we do feel as though we have started to make some positive changes. 

In an attempt to properly take stock of our achievements, here are my top 3 moments of the past 2 years…

1. Speaking in front of the Women and Equalities Select Committee – Oct 2023

We were invited to submit oral evidence to the select committee, discussing the issues surrounding sexual misconduct within healthcare. I never for one moment contemplated the idea of going to speak in front of MPs about the work we were doing when we started this campaign, but as we’ve become more established as an organisation, and have become more knowledgeable about the issues in healthcare, it actually seems like a natural step that we start talking to the government (now all we need is to get a health secretary to take us seriously…)

2.  Presenting to the Emergency Medicine Educational Supervisors (aka my bosses) – May 2024

We have spoken in front of so many audiences at this point, we know our content inside and out. We’ve spoken to national and international audiences, packed conference auditoriums and virtual webinars. We often speak together, but as the demand for our services has increased we are doing more talks solo. The scariest audience I’ve had, has to have been my bosses a couple of weeks ago. It ended up being one of the best talks I’d given, as I threw caution to the wind and spoke the truth – my truth, about what I’ve experienced, but also the truths from the collective narrative we have established on our website. This talk was a real reminder that the voices of survivors have power, impact and influence. They are what got me through the nerves and what has driven our campaign forwards!

3.   Saying yes to meeting Becky in that dodgy looking pub in Birmingham – April 2022

Technically, this happened over 2 years ago. But it was this fateful meeting that led to the conception of Surviving in Scrubs. Becky and I had already met a couple of times virtually, but it was at this meeting in 2022, where we decided we were going to start a campaign together. We have learnt many lessons since, but we have always been there for each other. We make a great team, when one of us needs support, the other is always there. 

This work is hard (especially when working full-time clinical jobs and balancing our families on top). It’s emotional, it’s stressful, but we know that we are doing something good here, we are trying to make the healthcare environment safer for all who work within it. But we would not be able to do this alone, and I am so thankful that we met up that day, drank that questionable wine and started being professional troublemakers… 

Here’s what Becky has to say about this milestone…

Our campaign is two years old today and we are delighted to have made it to this milestone. Back when we first started we never would have thought we would have got the stage we’re now at. Two years ago we decided to be difficult, to risk our necks and say something about the way women healthcare workers were being treated. We decided to be bloody difficult doctors. 

We expected we would be a small organisation trying to use our little voice to shout out to the big healthcare organisations to act on the stories of sexism and sexual violence we were gathering in healthcare. Fortunately it turned out we have a much bigger voice than we realised and we have been able to champion the voices of survivors to push for change. This journey has been a crazy one. We got together back in 2022 and decided to make a website to share survivor stories of sexism and sexual violence in healthcare to produce evidence of the issues going on in healthcare. We had no idea how to make a website, no clue how to make a reel, or how to find and speak to the big bosses in healthcare. But we took a deep breath and we had a go, and it turns out just having a go can work!

Two years later we have more than 220 stories, have undertaken multiple interviews raising awareness in the media, a much fancier website, an educational programme which we have delivered for healthcare professionals, and we have been able to campaign for survivors by working with healthcare organisations such as NHS England, NHS Education Scotland, the GMC, the royal colleges and healthcare universities to instil change. Oh and by the way did we say we have also been to parliament.. twice!

In numbers we have:

And we’re only just beginning. We have a wonderful team of volunteers who have championed this cause and we want to thank them for their energy, enthusiasm and support.  

Here’s to the next (however many) years!

Becky and Chelcie