GMC and AoMRC launch professional skills and capabilities consultation

A consultation aimed at making doctors better professionals, communicators and leaders has been launched by the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC).

The consultation will seek views on a proposed framework for generic professional capabilities sought, including the outcomes that all doctors will have to demonstrate by the end of their postgraduate specialty training.

The framework clarifies the core knowledge, skills and behaviours which doctors need and which are common across all medical specialties, such as effective communication, team-working and patient-centred decision-making.

These and other key capabilities described in the framework are essential for safe, high-quality clinical care and will support doctors’ development as high performing, compassionate and caring professionals.

“UK trained doctors are valued and recognised across the world for their technical expertise”, said Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the GMC. “But alongside this it is vital that every senior doctor has the personal and professional insights and capabilities to deliver, lead and manage high-quality care in complex teams, often in stressful environments or rapidly changing clinical circumstances.

“Patients rightly expect doctors to be good team players, have situational awareness and where necessary to provide effective leadership – they also expect their doctors to be professional, principled and expert communicators.

‘There is evidence that an awareness of human factors and associated generic professional capabilities improve professional practice. By acknowledging, encouraging and embedding the development of these high level professional insights, skills and capabilities into medical training, there is an expectation that we can promote and enable a higher and more consistent level of care for patients. Clinical skills are absolutely vital – they are necessary but on their own not sufficient to guarantee excellent care for patients.”

The GMC/AoMRC consultation is due to run until 22 September 2015.

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DH launches consultation on proposed changes to NHS Constitution

The Department of Health (DH) has launched a new consultation on proposed changes to the NHS Constitution.

The proposed changes are a direct response to the recommendations made by Sir Robert Francis QC in his Freedom to Speak Up Review (published on 11 February).

Amongst several proposals, the Government is looking to amend the NHS Constitution to: (i) give greater prominence to mental health; (ii) reflect the importance of access to transparent and comparable data; (ii) include the Armed Forces Covenant: and (iv) reflect the new fundamental standards.

The consultation document states: “By April 2015, we will see changes to the way hospitals are inspected, with the introduction of new fundamental standards. Failure to meet these standards, and an inability to meet the high standards patients expect and deserve, will result in decisive action to protect patients. It is also of upmost importance to promote a culture of openness within our NHS, which we hope to achieve through the introduction of the duty of candour.

“We need to close the gap between physical and mental health, and we believe that the NHS Constitution should make it clear that both are of equal importance. We believe that these important policies deserve to take their place amongst the core principles, values and responsibilities of the NHS – and should be set out clearly in the rights and pledges we make to patients.”

The consultation on the changes to the NHS Constitution – a set of principles which encompass patient, public and staff rights and the ‘responsibilities owed to each other to ensure the NHS operates fairly and effectively’- will formally close on 11 March 2015.





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