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GMC report into bullying

6 March, 2015

GMC report into bullying

A new report from the General Medical Council (GMC) highlights circumstances in which bullying and undermining of doctors in training are likely to occur.

The report’s findings draw from surveys of a representative sample of 12 UK hospitals visited by the GMC.

The review focused on six obstetrics and gynaecology departments and six surgery departments, as these specialities were identified as among those having the most issues with bullying and undermining.

During the visits the GMC representatives met with doctors in training, senior doctors, management teams and medical education directors.

The findings reveal a number of factors that contribute to trainee doctors feeling bullied or undermined, including feeling undervalued by their employers after being overlooked or criticised for their work or lack of knowledge, as well as being caught in the middle of arguments because of a lack of leadership or cohesion among senior doctors.

Other reasons include a belief that when overworked, senior doctors did not have time to focus on the education and training of doctors in training, and the difficulty in raising concerns to senior doctors.

RCM director for Scotland Gillian Smith said: ‘I welcome the GMC’s survey of bullying in UK hospitals, which looked into the circumstances at six obstetric and gynaecology departments where trainee doctors have been bullied. There is no excuse for these behaviours in maternity services, but the RCM’s own surveys have also reflected that undermining and bullying exists between obstetricians and midwives – by both parties.

‘We know that women are more likely to receive high-quality maternity care when medical teams work well together and show each other respect. The RCM is continuing to work with the RCOG to stop such undermining behaviour, and to support midwives and doctors in developing positive, supportive working relationships to improve services for mothers and babies.’

View the report here.

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