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Increase In The Number Of Doctors Reporting About Their Colleagues Abilities

A General Medical Council survey suggests that half of doctors in hospital and general practice are being concerned about a colleague's abilities.//

A first poll of 411 doctors found that 93% of those with worries had taken some form of action, such as talking to a senior colleague or employer. But 10% of GPs and 4% of hospital doctors had taken no action. It was also found that on e in five doctors expressed concerns and even made reference to possible alcohol abuse.

The GMC survey also found that doctors raised concerns about communication skills, team-working skills and general ability and clinical knowledge. Almost a quarter of the GPs expressed their concerns on a belief that their colleagues were severely overworked and suffering from stress.

The surveyors felt that if the main reason for some doctors not raising concerns were due to the impact it would have on their own career and relationships with peers. Many others believed a senior colleague should resolve the situation, or that they did not know who to report their concerns to.

A second poll of over 900 members of the public found they had more faith in the regulatory system than doctors. Almost three quarters of members of the public said they had confidence in the way doctors were regulated, compared to 50% of GPs and 52% of hospital doctors. Less than 10% of members of the public felt that they were not at all confident with the GMC, and many mentioned family experience as a factor in their views. This was significantly different from a survey conducted in 2003 where the GMC was described as a bureaucratic doctors club.

When asked about what made a good doctor, nine out of 10 members of the public said giving good advice and treatment, closely followed by good communication skills. Many doctors mostly thought that recently trained doctors had good communication and interpersonal skills.

Sir Graeme Catto, President of the GMC, said
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