How to raise concerns about your clinical placement

If you have any patient safety concerns while you're on placement you must raise them promptly. Follow your medical school’s policy on raising concerns wherever possible. You can also find more information in our Raising and acting on concerns guidance and our ethical hub topic about speaking up

Clinical placements are an invaluable part of your learning, experience, and development as a medical student.

Medical schools and placement providers should deliver high-quality educational and clinical experiences. It is important that you feel safe, supported, and appropriately supervised during clinical placements throughout medical school.

If at any point you don’t feel you’re getting the experience you should, it’s important to raise this with the appropriate person or organisation so it can be addressed.

Speaking up about concerns and giving regular feedback are critical to improving your experience and the experience of other medical students in the future.

How do I raise concerns about the quality of my placement?

You should feel able to raise any concerns and provide honest feedback about the quality of your clinical placements with the clinical team, placement coordinators, and your medical school.

You should be able to do this openly, anonymously, or confidentially. When raising a concern in person, you may want to find somewhere quiet to have the conversation. 

It can be difficult to know who is best to speak to. Your medical school should have a policy so follow that where you can.

Who to speak to about different concerns

Speak to your clinical team (doctor in training/ward staff/consultant) about:

  • patient safety concerns
  • concerns about the clinical environment
  • opportunities to see certain medical conditions or procedures, to facilitate your learning.

Speak to your educational or clinical supervisor about:

  • any personal struggles while on placement 
  • not achieving the learning outcomes of your clinical placement
  • an incident during your clinical placement
  • inappropriate behaviour
  • experiencing or witnessing bullying, harassment, or discrimination.

Speak to your placement coordinator about:

  • issues with timetables or scheduling of clinical activities
  • clinical teams not being aware that you’ll be joining them 
  • IT problems
  • accommodation or travel concerns.

Speak to your medical school about:

  • issues with your educational or clinical supervisor
  • assessment concerns
  • concerns that are not resolved by your placement provider, for your medical school to investigate further.

Other options

In England, you can escalate your concerns to the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian if you cannot resolve them or feel unable to raise them directly.

If you have a serious or persistent concern about the quality of your education that you’ve not been able to resolve locally, you can also report it to us

You can find more information in our ethical hub topic about speaking up.