Professional behaviours and patient safety programme

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The vast majority of doctors’ act with great compassion and professionalism.

But there is growing evidence that unprofessional behaviours – including bullying and undermining – have a direct impact on safe care. They can also lead to difficult working environments for doctors and other health professionals.

Testing a new training programme

During 2019, we're piloting a training programme – Professional behaviours and patient safety. It's designed to help improve doctors’ skills and confidence to address unprofessional behaviours. 

The programme design draws on an international evidence-base, and has been robustly tested at several national and regional events. The current phase of piloting will test how this training can be offered in collaboration with employers to help them drive cultural change.

The half-day workshops will combine interactive and small group work with facilitated discussion. Doctors who attend will be able to sketch out and discuss their perceptions of unprofessional behaviours and how these affect patient safety. And they'll be able to practise the verbal and behavioural skills they need to challenge these behaviours. 

What happens next?

We want to make sure the programme drives real improvements in patient care. So we'll evaluate the pilot to help us decide what we’ll do next. And we’ll update this page to keep you up to date about our plans.

Our programme is included in an information resource for health leaders from the Anti-Bullying Alliance. We’re proud to be a part of the Alliance, which brings together health care stakeholders and partners. This includes a number of royal colleges and academies, the British Medical Association, Civility Saves Lives, the National Guardian for the NHS, NHS Employers and NHS Improvement.

For more information about the Professional behaviours and patient safety programme, email: