Recommendation 159

Surveying medical students and trainees for feedback

Surveys of medical students and trainees should be developed to optimise them as a source feedback of perceptions of the standards of care provided to patients. The General Medical Council should consult the Care Quality Commission in developing the survey and routinely share information obtained with healthcare regulators.

The General Medical Council has made it clear that it views surveys of medical students and doctors in training as vital in assessing the quality of education and an important tool in evaluating the standards of care provided to patients. The General Medical Council is now including questions about the quality of care provided to patients in the National Training Survey. The General Medical Council also surveys medical students ahead of formal visits to their medical schools, and is committed to considering, by 2015, whether to survey all medical students, as is done with doctors in training, in 2015. The results of the National Training Survey of trainees are published on the General Medical Council’s web site and are shared with other regulators such as the Care Quality Commission, for example, to support their recent inspections of Acute Hospitals.


The 2014 National Training Survey, now closed, achieved a response rate of over 98 % of trainees. Comments relating to patient safety and undermining have now been analysed and included in the General Medical Council’s monitoring processes with Deaneries and Local Education Training Boards if appropriate. The General Medical Council published its key findings from the 2014 survey on their website in June. The results showed a rise in overall satisfaction levels from previous years, with overall scores for educational supervision, induction, handover and adequate experience improving. In November 2014 the General Medical Council published two further reports Concerns about patient safety which includes an analysis of the patient safety concerns raised and Undermining covering bullying and undermining behaviour and the General Medical Council’s plans to work with others to combat this kind of behaviour in clinical environments.