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GMC Survey of doctors reveals inadequate training practices

Author:The Patients Association
Date Added:19 July 2012

One in four doctors think handover procedures between healthcare professionals during changes of shift are either 'informal' or 'not in place', according to a new General Medical Council survey.

51,000 trainee doctors have responded to a GMC survey in which serious concerns are raised about the impact of poor training on patient care. Whilst 80% reported that their training was either 'good' or 'excellent', one in three described the introduction they received about their role, responsibilities and objectives within the organisation they work in as 'fair', 'poor' or 'very poor'. 

 The figures also highlighted: 

- Around one in seven said they felt forced to cope with clinical problems beyond their competence or experience. 

- One in three reported that they rarely or never had informal feedback from a senior clinician on how they were doing in their post. 

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of The Patients Association, said, 

"This GMC survey of doctors highlights some concerning areas where patient care is being put at risk because of inadequate training practices. Doctors themselves are saying there is a need for improvements in relation to both handover processes with colleagues working on night duty and the information provided to them about the organisations they work in.

Patient care in hospitals is one of the key issues which is raised through our helpline. That is why we launched our CARE campaign last year which calls for a relentless focus on the fundementals. It is crucial, for example, that there is an equal decision making partnership between healthcare professionals and patients when assesing how to meet care needs - this also means that there needs to be good communication between healthcare professions themselves. Patient stays in hospitals inevitably overlap with staff shift patterns. But patients should expect continuity of care and communication at all times.

This survey must be seen as a wake up call to Trusts.'

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