Working with doctors Working for patients

Grievance, performance and health


All doctors

66. You should understand the difference between a personal grievance, that is a complaint about your own employment situation, and a concern about a risk, malpractice or wrongdoing that affects others. This is particularly important if patients or members of the public are at risk of harm.16 It can sometimes be difficult to separate personal grievances from a concern about patient safety. If these overlap, you should acknowledge any personal grievance that may arise from the situation, but focus on patient safety.17 You should as far as possible make sure you use the correct procedure to make your personal grievance known or raise your concern.18

67. If you have a personal grievance that you cannot resolve informally, you should follow your organisation’s grievance procedure. If you have a concern about patient safety, you must follow the guidance in Raising and acting on concerns about patient safety.4

Doctors with extra responsibilities

68. You should help staff you manage to identify the appropriate procedure for dealing with their personal grievance or concern about patient safety.

Performance and health

All doctors

69. You must make sure that your own health does not put patients at risk and you must follow the guidance in Good Medical Practice5 on doctors’ responsibilities in relation to their own health.

70. You should be aware that poorly performing colleagues may have health problems and respond constructively where this is the case. You should encourage such colleagues to seek and follow professional advice and offer them appropriate help and support. You must not unfairly discriminate against colleagues because of an issue related to their health or a disability.

71. You should, as far as possible, support colleagues who are experiencing performance problems.

72. But, in all cases, you should remember your duty to raise concerns where you believe a colleague may not be fit to practise or may otherwise pose a risk of serious harm to patients.4

Doctors with extra responsibilities

73. You must promote the health and wellbeing of staff you manage.

74. You must make sure that there are clear and effective procedures for responding to concerns about colleagues’ conduct, performance or health. This includes referring them to occupational health or other services, where appropriate, and making sure that staff are aware of these procedures.

75. You should be prepared to discuss constructively and sympathetically any work problems that the people you manage may have. You must deal supportively and, where possible, openly with problems in the conduct, performance or health of people you manage.19

76. You must make sure that people you manage have access to support for any health or performance problems they have. You must make sure that people are not unfairly discriminated against because of their health or disability.

77. You must make sure that you respond appropriately to requests for reasonable adjustments for staff with a disability or health condition in line with the Equality Act 2010.