The General Medical Council (GMC) published reports on: Concerns about patient safety and Bullying and undermining.
Concerns about patient safety report
The Concerns about patient safety report included an analysis of the patient safety concerns, measuring doctors perception about their training environment and experiences in local reporting.
On the whole local reporting system within local education providers (LEPs) work. However, some doctors in training described concerns about the lack of information they have on how to raise concerns, who to report to and not having confidence in their local systems for reporting concerns. The trainee survey was not primarily designed as a whistleblowing tool, though it has become an important place for doctors in training to raise the alarm and address these concerns where local systems have failed to so. The report also highlights the barriers doctors in training face when reporting patient safety issues, and the importance of working with doctors in training to understand more about these barriers and possible solutions to measure the quality of local reporting mechanisms. The report provides a number of case studies describing how these issues are investigated and resolved.
Bullying and undermining report
The Bullying and Undermining report describes doctor’s experiences in bullying how these are investigated, reported and dealt with on a local level and by education providers. The report also highlights possible reasons why doctors do not report these issues and explores different initiatives to encourage the local reporting of bullying and undermining to resolve these issues.
Although majority of training environments are supportive 8 per cent of respondents reported bullying compared with a score of 13.2 per cent in 2013 and 13.6 per cent reported witnessing to bullying compared with a score of 19.5 per cent in 2012. Causing an impact on the safety of care given to patients and disrupting the ability to communicate effectively among healthcare teams and departments.
The report outlines that the feedback received from some consultants was not constructive and undermined doctors in training confidence. The culture and hierarchical structures doctors in training are faced with leave them in a vulnerable situation. This can also discourage them from reporting bullying and undermining concerns. The report demonstrated the need for the new framework to recognise and approve trainers, the importance of having clear definitions for both educational and clinical supervisors and to have mechanisms in place to support these roles.
The Concerns about patient safety report and the Bullying and Undermining report can both be found on the GMC's website.