GMC Logo Search the register GMC Online

GMC signs up to joint approach to addressing concerns raised by doctors

The General Medical Council (GMC) has today (Friday 15 June) signed up to a joint statement with other organisations on a commitment to address issues around exception reporting – the process by which doctors raise safety concerns.

Exception reporting is a mechanism for trainee doctors in England to report concerns they have about impacts of working in under-resourced environments. But since its introduction, in 2016, organisational cultures, staff engagement and differences in local processes have all impacted on its effectiveness.

"Doctors need to have confidence that if they raise a concern then action will be taken. Exception reporting, when it works as it should, can improve the quality of medical education and safeguard patient safety, as well as helping the morale of doctors in training."

Charlie Massey

GMC Chief Executive

Now the GMC, together with NHS Improvement, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the British Medical Association, the Care Quality Commission, Health Education England and NHS Employers, have agreed a joint approach to improving exception reporting.

Charlie Massey, the GMC’s Chief Executive, said: ‘Doctors need to have confidence that if they raise a concern then action will be taken. Exception reporting, when it works as it should, can improve the quality of medical education and safeguard patient safety, as well as helping the morale of doctors in training.

‘A collaborative and cross-organisational approach is necessary to streamline and standardise the process, and then to encourage a culture in which trainees feel able to speak up when necessary.’

Although the exception reporting joint statement only applies to England, the GMC is currently working with partner organisations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to find ways of improving the consistency of rota monitoring, and supporting doctors in training, in those countries.

In addition, the GMC has a programme of work to help address long-standing underlying issues affecting the medical profession. This includes commissioning independent reviews of how cases of gross negligence manslaughter, and culpable homicide in Scotland, involving doctors are initiated and investigated, and to better understand why some doctors are referred for fitness to practice issues more than others.

Read the full joint statement, signed by the GMC and other organisations

Back