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Scotland Deanery

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Trainee information

Report a concern

Raising concerns - information to help you with a concern you may have and details of who to contact

Most trainees have a positive experience in their placements on their training programme. However, from time to time some of you will encounter a problem or issue that causes concern. This might mean you don't know who to talk to in the department if it relates to a colleague or a safety concern.

Patient safety is everyone's first concern and you should use the clinical governance framework in your Board to highlight a risk as soon as you become aware of it. All Boards will have policies for incident and near miss reporting, risk management and clinical governance. They will also have policies for bullying and harassment, and staff conduct and capability so there will be a mechanism and staff who can advise you.

As a first step to raising a concern about the quality of your training out with the normal feedback routes such as surveys, ask your clinical or educational supervisor for advice, and use the policies of the NHS board where you are employed to try to resolve the problem. Management staff in the Clinical Directorates will work within these policies and can take forward some solutions. All Boards have a Director of Medical Education and their department should also be able to help you with a concern about training, and advise on the appropriate Board person to speak to. Feedback about the quality of training is not whistleblowing, and each Board has its own policy around what to do in relation to whistleblowing. Should the concern fall under the scope of whistleblowing rather than as feedback about the quality of training advice on how to proceed should be sought from the placement Board’s Director of Medical Education. 

If you feel you need further support, contact your Training/Foundation Programme Director or your programme administrator at the Deanery. We want to help you resolve your problem and we are here to make sure you get the right training to an appropriate standard, so we can assist you if you don't know who to ask.

How to raise a concern

Complete our Raising a Concern form and we will ensure it goes to the right person in the Deanery.

What happens next?

We will acknowledge the concern within 3 working days and will take action regarding the concern within 20 working days. Depending on the nature of your question, will ensure that it gets to the person who can help you.

They will then contact you to give you a response, seek further information or take further action.

For issues relating to the quality of your training there is a flow chart showing how we will take this forward.

For issues relating to you as an employee or a colleague, should you subsequently decide to instigate a formal complaint/grievance then we would encourage you to pursue their complaint through your employer's HR policies.

Trainees should be aware that where allegations (in writing) are made against a particular named individual we are obliged to share such information with that individual and their employer.

If an issue is raised with us in the first instance, the following procedure will be followed:

  1. A meeting will be arranged with you to discuss the nature of, and evidence which supports the complaint / allegation(s). At this meeting it will be made clear the implications and possible options available.
  2. This meeting will be documented and this will be shared with you and a copy placed in your file along with any written evidence you present
  3. You are advised that the Deanery has no jurisdiction over staff that are employed by other organisations e.g. Clinical / Educational Supervisors and other clinically-based staff. However the Deanery staff will give advice regarding the process of raising a complaint / grievance with their employer.
  4. Thereafter it will be your responsibility to pursue the complaint / grievance through formal employer policies so that the matter can be formally investigated.
  5. The Region will ensure that pastoral support is provided for you throughout this process*
  6. The Region will monitor the progress of any formal investigation.

* Pastoral support is normally provided by a trainee's TPD however, if that individual is the source of the complaint / grievance or providing evidence in support of the trainee, then the Deanery will arrange alternative support.

Also available:

National Whistleblowing Standards

This page was last updated on: 02.05.2024 at 11.07