Do I need to get patient feedback from all the different roles I hold?

This case study will help if you:

  • have a ‘portfolio’ career and hold multiple roles
  • undertake both medical and non-medical roles
  • undertake roles where you don’t have contact with patients.

Key points to consider

  • You only need to collect and reflect on patient feedback for roles you undertake as a doctor.
  • If you don’t see patients, you will need to think more broadly about who can give you feedback on your practice on which to reflect. This could be anybody you deal with on a regular basis other than your colleagues, such as a patient’s family or carer, students, or even suppliers or customers.
  • It may not always be appropriate to collect patient feedback for a particular role, or aspect of a role, that you undertake as a doctor. In such cases you should discuss this with your appraiser and Responsible Officer.


Dr Grey works in several different roles: he sees a small number of private patients, works as a magistrate, teaches in a university and occasionally acts as an expert witness in criminal proceedings.

He’s concerned about collecting patient feedback from all his roles, as each organisation has its own governance arrangements.

His judicial colleagues agree that he shouldn’t collect patient feedback in his medico-legal work, as the appellants he sees are not patients and asking for feedback may breach judicial rules.

How the doctor met our requirements

Dr Grey agreed with his appraiser and responsible officer that his role as a magistrate did not need to be included in his medical appraisal, as it is not a medical appointment and he is doesn’t use his medical knowledge and skills to perform this role.

He sought advice from his appraiser on his role as an expert witness who agreed that he did need to discuss this role at his appraisal.

His appraiser agreed it was not appropriate for him to seek feedback from appellants but agreed other supporting information that he could bring to his appraisal for this role.

He collected feedback from a sample of patients in his private practice using a benchmarked, anonymous feedback system.

He supplemented this by collecting and reflecting on a range of feedback from his various roles as a doctor; from clinical and academic colleagues, students, carers and relatives of private patients, and administrative and support staff.

At appraisal Dr Grey was able to demonstrate that he had collected supporting information from the whole scope of his medical practice.

He reflected thoroughly on it and considered whether he needed to make any changes to his practice as a result.

Useful links

GMC expert witnesses guidance

Medical Defence Union guidance – Acting as a medical expert witness