This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs to receive training on tackling unprofessionalism from GMC

The GMC has launched a pilot programme to train doctors in how to tackle unprofessional behaviour from colleagues.

Announced at the GMC conference today, the pilot programme will be delivered face to face with doctors across the UK, and will provide doctors with the ‘skills and confidence to deal with unprofessional behaviour’ from colleagues.

The programme, called professional behaviours and patient safety training, will be delivered in ‘at least’ 14 sites by the GMC’s outreach teams.

It was developed in response to reports that unprofessional behaviour by some staff was having a direct impact on patients.

One study in 2008 found that 14% of doctors and nurses reported that they were aware of specific adverse events that related to disruptive behaviour from colleagues.

A GMC survey of over 1,000 doctors in 2016 also found that 40% felt that other doctors had undermined respect and prevented effective collaboration.

GMC chair Dame Clare Marx said: ‘All of the evidence shows us that when clinical environments are poorly-led unprofessional behaviour goes unchallenged and patient safety suffers.

‘We are acting on the evidence we have heard from clinicians and their experiences of unprofessional behaviour to give doctors the skills and confidence to lead the changes needed now and in the future to continue to deliver great patient care.

‘The vast majority of doctors act with great compassion and professionalism. If we equip them to challenge poor behaviour in others we will enable them to deliver the care they want to provide. Our aim is to create the right environment for safe professional practice and to support a profession under pressure to deliver good care,’ she added.

Chair of Healthwatch England, Sir Robert Francis, said: ‘Bullying and undermining stops everyone talking to each other. It makes people afraid so that they don’t share confidences or concerns, and that’s really dangerous for patients because unsafe practices are allowed to carry on.

‘We all need to role model the behaviours we can be proud of, but there needs to be training in how to have difficult conversations with each other.’

A study in September also found that doctors with burnout were twice as likely to make mistakes, such as incorrect diagnoses or wrong prescriptions.

The move also follows a ‘zero tolerance’ policy against abuse which was launched by health secretary Matt Hancock in October to try and better protect NHS staff against violence.

Readers' comments (24)

  • Another page from the Staatssicherheitsdienst Operations Manual.

    Too much regulation and a too powerful regulator are asphyxiating Medicine in the UK

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @Obi One: Clearly the Pulse is with You !

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • theres a gmc conference? why wasnt i invited?
    i could shout at them directly then

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • bullying is a coping mechanism for underlying stress due to various causes. If you don't sort the underlying causes you will not change the coping mechanism. many of these people are struggling with overwork, poor management structures, underfunding, unrealistic expectations, fear of making a mistake and being sued, depression and anxiety, addiction, personality disorders , lack of support and training from the NHS etc etc etc and are often subjected to bullying themselves. If you don't understand the problem and tackle its root causes nothing will change. this idea is to placate the victims only and does nothing to change the NHS culture that incites such behaviours in the first place.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I also read this as Obione did.
    Whole thing smacks of the Stasi.
    No way anyone would seriously go to the GMC for advice on unprofessionalism and tackling bullying. They are the epitome of both from personal experience.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • GMC has been unfit for purpose itself (and for a long time - and unbelievably is getting worse). Maybe it has developed insight and is feeling remorse? (OK - that’s a really stupid suggestion)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho

    There is a Chinese saying , ‘ the one who comes around talking about controversy is the one of controversy ‘ (來説是非便是是非人)。
    Giving the role of training us to tackle unprofessional behaviour (by all means , indicated) to GMC is like watching the famous movie Usual Suspect . After the case of Dr BG , what can stop GMC being vindictive and restore their superhero complex . The statement of immediately equating these behaviour with harm to patients, hence the public , said it all .

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The GMC needs to shrink into the background, stop trying to be "relevant" and acknowledge and understand that almost all it forays into the public arena have been disastrous for both us and them.

    It needs to restrict its activities to maintaining a register (as was originally intended) and only getting involved in the most heinous of misconduct cases which should otherwise be dealt with locally.

    This is an organisation that has mushroomed out of control and it should now just SHUT UP.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Has anyone seen Milton Friedman’s proposed completely unregulated health care in a private system allowing free capitalism to be the only control. This could invite snake oil Medicine. He was extreme, but I think his idea could work if partially applied. One would need to add some simple form of measurement of outcomes.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Tony, I have. And even as a fan, I think that's way too far into idealism on the other end. His basis for it is that medical knowledge shouldn't be the sole realm of medical professionals and should be freely available to the public. Even with todays advancement of the internet, that's no substitute for actual real time training and experience. I am for full disclosure and transparency though. And keeping a measure of licensing and registration. And provision of emergency treatment and access to primary care. All else in healthcare should remain individual responsibility.

    And policenthieves, how would we achieve that if 1. the law compels us to fund it i.e. its a tax/state funded. 2. the GMC and states in general find it very hard to relinquish POWER. 3. All attempts to bring about change by our supposed union have hit a blank wall.

    The options that are clear to us: 1. retire/emigrate individually. 2. you vote in parties that want to limit the size and power of the state. 3. you debate and use public pressure/influence to try and change things. 4. revolution en masse i.e. leaving the NHS. #DGTOW - Doctors Go Their Own Way!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page50 results per page

Have your say