Our responses to reviews and inquiries
We're always striving to be a better regulator. The themes found by public inquiries and reviews play an important part and inform the work we do. We detail the work we've done in response to these inquiries below.
In July 2021, the UK government published its response to the 2020 Independent Medicine and Medical Devices Safety Review’s First Do No Harm report, led by Baroness Julia Cumberlege. The report highlighted patient stories of unacceptable harm caused by medicines and devices, alongside recommendations for the healthcare system to reflect and act upon.
Our response explains how we continue to support the DHSC in its programme of work to coordinate and lead on follow-up to the review. It also details work we have undertaken since the report’s publication.
This report summarises the major changes that have occurred since the terrible events at Gosport War Memorial Hospital. It details the crucial learnings and actions we are now taking in response to the Panel report.
This update provides an overview about how we have addressed overarching themes from recently published inquiries and reviews, including the 2012 Francis report.
It shows the impact our work to promote a more collaborative and patient-focused culture has had on the shifting landscape of healthcare regulation.
We believe that professional regulation has an important part to play in helping protect patients from harm and raising the standards of medical education and practice. Inquiries and reviews help us reflect on our systems and practice, identifying lessons for us and the system as a whole.
Last year we published an update on our work to address the recommendations from Sir Robert Francis’ 2013 report on the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which also incorporated our work relating to the recommendations of other published inquiries and reviews.
Whilst 2016 was a quiet year with no major inquiry or review publications directly affecting our work, we continue to work closely and cooperate with various ongoing inquiries and reviews. As a listening and learning organisation, we will continue to assist inquiries and reviews in the work they do and provide as much assistance and data sharing as possible.
This update highlights the significant amount of work undertaken over the year to promote a more collaborative and patient-focused culture in healthcare regulation and focuses on four themes:
- Patients’ insight – which includes development of the Patient Information Service.
- Being open and honest – which includes our joint work with the Nursing and Midwifery Council on Duty of candour, how we raise awareness of our guidance and development of the National Training Survey.
- Professionalism – this includes our new standards for education and training, development of generic professional capabilities, the work of the Regional Liaison Service and our professionalism events.
- Collaboration and information sharing – which includes work to strengthen relationships with the Care Quality Commission and other systems regulators.
This update consolidates our previous responses to provide a summary of how we are responding to the core themes and recommendations from the Francis Inquiry.
It also describes how we have responded, and are continuing to respond, to related reviews. For example the Berwick Review into patient safety, the Clwyd Hart Review of the NHS complaints system and the Keogh Review of quality of care and treatment provided by 14 hospitals with high mortality indicators.
This update includes further comment on our work relating to the recommendations of the Keogh Review into the quality of care and treatment provided by 14 hospitals with high mortality indicators, the Berwick Review into patient safety and the pledges we made to the Clwyd Hart review of the NHS complaints system, all of which the Government commissioned to help inform its response to the Francis Report.
As with our October 2013 update, the recommendations and pledges are grouped across six themes. We remain committed to tackling the wider issues highlighted by the Francis Report as a whole and in playing our part in helping promote a more open, patient-focused culture in health and regulation.
The successful delivery of many of these recommendations and the wider agenda as a whole depends on many organisations and continuing to work together to successfully deliver the changes suggested and meet the challenges highlighted.
In our initial response to the recommendations in the Francis Report, we committed to providing an update on our progress in six months.
In that time, the Government has commissioned six further reviews to inform its response to the Francis Report, some of which are due to be published later this year.
The Keogh Review into the quality of care and treatment provided by 14 hospitals with high mortality indicators, the Berwick Review into patient safety and Cavendish Review of the regulation of healthcare assistants have been published.
The delivery of many of these recommendations will require action from a number of organisations. We have been engaging with the Department of Health and other regulators to ensure we work closely to help deliver the changes suggested.
This update groups the recommendations across the six themes. In addition to explaining the work in relation to the specifics of these recommendations, we are also committed to tackling the wider issues highlighted by the Francis Report as a whole in particular playing our part in helping to promote a more open, patient focused culture in health and regulation.
Patients and their families were badly let down by the failures of care at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust. We are determined to play our part by helping to raise standards to try to ensure this never happens again.
As the Francis report recognised, we have already taken some important steps to help create a safer health service for patients, particularly with the roll out of regular checks for doctors with the introduction of revalidation, the setting up of local GMC teams to work with the NHS, doctors and patients, and through the major reforms of our fitness to practise procedures which are designed to speed up and improve what we do.
We have made progress, but we know there is more to do. If we are to help prevent another tragedy and improve care for patients we, along with everyone else in the healthcare system, need to work together.
The reforms we have underway reflect our determination to be a more outward facing, proactive and responsive regulator. In this initial report we have responded to each of Robert Francis’ recommendations and provided further detail of what we are attempting to do.
We will continue to keep this information updated as we work with others to help create a safer more compassionate and more effective healthcare system for patients.
General Medical Council