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Doctors need support to speak out over care

A GMC survey of doctors in training has found that almost one in ten had been bullied. Here’s the BMA response:

Doctors have a duty to speak out about concerns over care, but they need the support of the organisations they work for to feel empowered to do so.

This is especially true for doctors in training who may be less confident than more experienced doctors when it comes to raising concerns, so it is extremely worrying that many of those surveyed lack confidence in local reporting systems.

It is vitally important that the NHS fosters a culture in which doctors feel able to raise concerns about bad care or bullying.

It is unacceptable that so many doctors in training continue to either experience or witness bullying. This can lead to doctors being less likely to report concerns, and has a serious impact on both patient care and the quality of doctors’ training.

If the NHS is to put quality patient care front and centre, and create a working environment in which staff are respected and encouraged rather than bullied and undermined, there needs to be a greater culture of openness and support between management and staff, and confidence that complaints about care or the treatment of staff will be properly acted upon without fear of reprisal.

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