Trainee doctors will be encouraged to report patient safety concerns to the GMC via a new patient safety section in the annual compulsory survey it was announced today.
The GMC has enhanced the patient safety section to cover whether the concern is historic and any action taken on it. The survey is completed annually by the 54,000 UK junior doctors.
GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘The survey provides us with a picture of what works well and what needs improving. Last year we followed up every patient safety concern raised by the doctors and we will do the same this year – doctors in training have a key role in ensuring patient safety by raising concerns where they feel that patients or their colleagues are at risk.’
In the report into what went wrong at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, inquiry chair Robert Francis QC described trainees as invaluable eyes and ears in a hospital setting.
Mr Dickson said he endorsed that view. He added: ‘Whenever they can doctors must raise concerns locally, but we hope this question will send a clear signal that frontline staff must be listened to, as well as being another powerful way for us to identify risks in the health system.’
It is compulsory for trainees to complete the survey, which closes at midday on May 8.