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Doctors’ wellbeing: GMC report calls for more effective teamwork


26th November 2019

GMC report highlights the importance of being part of a team and ‘being welcomed, being nurtured and being valued within that team’

This month the General Medical Council (GMC) published a new independent report by Professor Michael West and Dame Denise Coia into the wellbeing of doctors and medical students.

Their report, Caring for doctors, Caring for patients, identifies the main factors impacting doctors’ and medical students’ wellbeing and the action needed to create more compassionate working environments.

‘Doctors work in multidisciplinary teams both in primary and secondary care but the development of those teams within supportive cultures has been slow and patchy’

Among its eight key recommendations is the need to develop and support effective multidisciplinary team working.

Detailed recommendations include:

  • reviewing team working in all healthcare organisations
  • establishing a key performance indicator for effective team working
  • monitoring team working through high quality measures implemented by systems regulators, etc.
  • and providing appropriate support and materials to ensure the continued development of teams

All teams should have a shared purpose and clear objectives, says the report. Team members should be clear about their roles and meet regularly to review their performance, including inter-team or cross-boundary working. Quality improvement should be a core function of all teams.

Other positive factors highlighted in the study included: regular team meetings, involvement in decision making, membership of a stable ‘home team’, team training and inclusive cultures.

Welcoming the report’s publication, AOD Chief Operating Officer, Sarah-Jane Dale, said:

“I’m delighted that developing and supporting effective team working is a key recommendation in this valuable report – one of six urgent steps that will benefit all staff, not just doctors. Effective team working is fundamental to high quality healthcare and has enormous benefits both for doctors’ wellbeing and for patient care.”

Read the full report here

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