Patient and Colleague Feedback

Feedback from patients and colleagues can provide doctors with information about their work through the eyes of those they treat and work with. It provides the opportunity for patients, non-medical co-workers and medical colleagues to comment on the professional skills and behaviour of a doctor, and in turn allows the doctor to reflect on this information for his or her professional development.

This is one of the supporting information requirements for revalidation and at least one colleague and one patient MSF exercise should be undertaken in each five year revalidation cycle. The results from both should be included in a doctor's revalidation portfolio and discussed at appraisal.

The College has developed, piloted and validated a questionnaire tailored specifically for the interaction between patients and their anaesthetist in the surgical setting which has been approved by the GMC. We have also developed guidance on Patient and Colleague Feedback and have included several case studies and examples of good practice.

The GMC website features some case-studies including one for doctors who work in anaesthetics, to show how doctors and organisations have overcome the challenges they faced in collecting patient feedback.

To assist doctors with collecting patient feedback, we have included an example letter here which has been sent to patients with a reply-paid envelope to get responses. Also included here is a leaflet which has been produced by a collaboration including the Medical Royal Colleges to give an overview of revalidation and to explain why patient feedback is sought.

Patient Feedback should not be confused with Outcome Measurement, although there is considerable overlap between the two. Patient Feedback in the current context seeks to evaluate the clarity of communication, politeness, compassion and the extent to which the patient feels involved in their own care. The first three are key tenets of a good doctor-patient relationship; the fourth poses similar challenges for all doctors. Patient feedback in this context should be distinguished from assessment of outcome data such as perioperative complications.

For collecting colleague feedback, the GMC website includes an example questionnaire and guidance on how to implement and administer it. This can also be accessed via the right hand side of this page.

Patient and Colleague Feedback FAQs

Are doctors in Intensive Care and Pain Medicine required to collect patient feedback for the purposes of revalidation?
The GMC Supporting Information for Appraisal and Revalidation guidance document states that feedback from patients (where applicable) is expected at least once in a 5 year cycle. The RCoA recognises the importance of communication and interpersonal skills in clinical (including anaesthetic) practice and encourage all doctors (including anaesthetists) to obtain patient feedback on these important areas of practice wherever possible. This is made clear in a position statement on Individualised Patient Feedback for Revalidation (2012) issued jointly by the RCoA and Faculties of Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Medicine. The position statement is aimed at individual doctors as well as employers organising or commissioning patient feedback systems in trusts.

My Trust already uses a Patient Feedback Questionnaire. Can I use the College version? 
The College questionnaire has been tailored to the specific needs of anaesthetists and extensively piloted. It has been approved for use by the GMC.  We would recommend that you discuss with your Appraiser or Responsible Officer the benefits of using it.


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