GPs feel safer reporting NHS concerns post-Francis

GPs feel more confident reporting concerns about patient safety now than five years ago, a survey shows.

Reporting concerns: GPs feel more confident now than five years ago
Reporting concerns: GPs feel more confident now than five years ago

Almost half (45%) of 142 GPs polled by the Medical Defence Union (MDU) said they had reported a concern in recent years about issues such as colleagues’ performance or a lack of resources.

Three quarters (75%) of GPs who responded to the poll said they faced ‘no barriers’ to reporting concerns, and 59% said doctors were more likely to report concerns now than five years ago.

However, 37% of GPs who reported a concern said it had not been dealt with to their satisfaction.

The GPs were surveyed as part of a wider MDU poll of 470 doctors.

Across all doctors who took part, just 14% said they had faced barriers to reporting concerns.

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Sally Old said: ‘Much media attention in the wake of the Francis report into Mid Staffordshire hospital has focussed on the willingness of healthcare staff to raise concerns about poor standards of care. It is encouraging that only a small minority of doctors in our survey reported any barriers to reporting issues.

‘It is vital that, when they do raise concerns, doctors feel supported and that they will not suffer personally or professionally as a result.’

The MDU advises any doctor aware of concerns about patient safety to report them quickly and in writing.

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