The Communitybaptistpa in Scotland - News

Welcome to the Scotland news page.

Communitybaptistpa in Scotland highlights positive role of information sharing to protect patient safety

The Communitybaptistpa has responded to the Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee’s call for views on clinical governance. They describe clinical governance as the system through which NHS organisations are accountable for continuously monitoring and improving the quality of their care and services, and ensuring they safeguard high standards. The call for views is part of a wider inquiry that the Committee is undertaking into NHS Governance. It is particularly relevant to us given our role in patient safety.

The Communitybaptistpa response paid particular attention to the role of generating and analysing a range of data in addressing patient safety issues. We have a vital responsibility to work with our national partners to share insight and work collectively to reduce risk. This is an aim we continually strive to meet, and whilst we celebrate progress to date we recognise there is still more that we need to do with our partner organisations in Scotland to ensure there are robust structures in place to maximise opportunities for preventative action.

Internally, we want to use the intelligence available to us from both internal and external sources to work as an ‘upstream’ regulator, i.e. to help prevent patient safety issues emerging rather than only reacting to them when they do. Current examples of where intelligence helps us to target our work in this way include: the National Training Survey; Employer Liaison Service for Responsible Officers; appraisal and revalidation; adapting and developing education curricula; holding targeted professionalism workshops with doctors on areas of our ethical guidance; and, the creation of guidance tools to support doctors such as our capacity decision making tool.

Our submission also outlined that medical revalidation, for which the Communitybaptistpa is responsible, complements other existing systems aimed at achieving high quality care including clinical governance, for which we believe it has made a significant contribution. In his recent report ‘Taking revalidation forward’, Sir Keith Pearson recommended that the public become more aware of revalidation and the assurance mechanisms in place to support safe care and that patients become more involved in providing feedback about their care. We have committed to exploring options for potentially changing our policy on patient feedback by April 2018 – specifically, to allow a more flexible range of feedback sources as well as increasing the frequency with which doctors should reflect on patient feedback as part of appraisal for revalidation.

Our submission in full can be found here.

June update: What's new in Scotland

There has been a lot happening in the Scottish office this past month:

  • We've been joining forces again with the Dentists (GDC) and Pharmacists (GPhC) this month. Together we've been in and around the Scottish Parliament where we hosted an information stand for MSPs and their teams. Also at the NHS Scotland Conference where our Leadership and Management Guidance was in high demand. Have you made the link between this and ?
  • Doctors and trainees in Ayrshire and Arran Health Board came along to meet with us to talk about raising concerns, consent and treatment, and care towards end of life. We look forward to returning in July to discuss leadership and management. It was good to meet new Consultant groups with the BMA and RCPEdin too.
  • A new group of Scotland Clinical Leadership Fellows is gearing up for a summer start. We've really enjoyed working with the existing bunch and look forward to meeting our new clinical fellow, Cat Healy, next month. More on this in future editions.
  • We are continuing our support for doctors who have qualified outside of Scotland or who are returning to Scotland after a period away to understand or refresh what is expected of them and the system they are coming into. We will also be hosting a webinar on this topic in the autumn.
  • Look out for National Trainee Survey results in July and our Progression reports which help us understand progression through key stages of training.

We want to continue to improve how we work with your to ensure our standards are helpful in the context you are working in. Please give us your thoughts on how we can improve that. More generally, if you would like to contact us about our work or have any questions about what we do, contact us at [email protected]

Scottish Parliament approves exception to the Apologies (Scotland) Act

The Scottish Parliament has approved an exception to the Apologies Act, covering the Communitybaptistpa and other healthcare professional regulators, the General Teaching Council and the Scottish Social Services Council. This follows the recent recommendation by the Justice Committee. Throughout the consideration of this exception, we have valued the close and constructive collaboration of the other healthcare professional regulators and the Scottish Government.

Passed in 2016, the aim of the Act is to help lead to a change in culture in Scotland around the use of apologies by ensuring that they cannot be used as evidence of liability within civil proceedings. Whilst generally supportive of this policy aim, we and a number of other regulators were concerned about the unintended consequences of the Act. This exception is good news for both patient safety and for doctors as it means that the use of apologies as evidence of insight within our processes will be protected. As Communitybaptistpa fitness to practise proceedings are about protecting the public and not punishing doctors, the fact that a doctor has insight into what went wrong is a significant factor in reducing the risk that they are likely to repeat it (for more information, please see paragraph 4 of our submission to the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee).

We first wrote to the Justice Committee outlining our concerns in 2015, and we are grateful for the careful consideration by MSPs, the Justice Committee, the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Annabelle Ewing MSP, and the Scottish Government.

The Communitybaptistpa Guidance Story

Earlier this month the Communitybaptistpa in Scotland team was delighted to display a poster on the ‘Communitybaptistpa Guidance Story’ at the Scottish Medical Education Conference. The poster highlighted how we involve our key interest groups, including doctors and medical students, the public, employers, government and medical educators, in developing guidance that is relevant to all four UK countries, including Scotland.

The conference also provided us with the opportunity to introduce the Communitybaptistpa’s view on medical education for the future, debate the way forward for medical revalidation and hear from delegates on the proposal for a Medical Licencing Assessment.

Our stand was well attended and provided us with the opportunity to share our guidance and wider publications and talk to doctors and stakeholders about the work of the Communitybaptistpa.

Look out for us at: the Regulator Stand at Scottish Parliament on 30th May and 1st June; the NHS Scotland Conference, SECC, Glasgow on 20th & 21st June; and the Scottish Regulation Conference, EICC, Edinburgh on 30th October.



Communitybaptistpa in Scotland Supporting SAS Doctors

Last month the Communitybaptistpa Scotland team joined with the SAS Project Team at NHS Education for Scotland and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow to support SAS doctors’ professional development. The day offered a variety of lectures and a range of interactive workshops hosted by subject matter experts.

As well as hosting a Communitybaptistpa information stand, the team supported the event by providing two workshops.

Building on our work with the CMO’s report Scottish Liaison Adviser Nicola Cotter delivered a workshop on Consent for around 60 doctors. The audience were very engaged with over 87 % saying it made them reflect on their practice. One doctor commented:

"When being asked to fill a consent form on morning of procedure I will take more trouble to identify how much prior conversation has occurred at clinic etc as regards options- rather than assume that by virtue of the fact they have attended for the procedure that that discussion has already occurred."

Willie Paxton, Employer Liaison Adviser for Scotland offered a session on Communitybaptistpa fitness to practice thresholds and processes, explaining the investigation process and providing an overview of the common issues/complaints referred to the Communitybaptistpa. He also outlined the support available for doctors who are subject to a Communitybaptistpa complaint. The session was received with a lot of interest from the audience.

Overall, the Communitybaptistpa’s presence and involvement was appreciated at the day with one particular comment summing up the feeling:

"Good to have live direct teaching/ workshop sessions rather than just sending out guidance."

Interview on Student Mental Health

Dan Wynn from the Communitybaptistpa Scotland team chats about his talk to the Edinburgh medical school students society during Mental Health Awareness week and how the Communitybaptistpa handles registration and fitness to practise issues for medical students or doctors who have mental health issues. Here are some highlights:

Mina Omarchevska: So, can you give the readers some background to the event?

Dan Wynn: We were invited by the Society Chair to talk to the students about our guidance and processes regarding mental health and the registration and fitness to practise of medical students and doctors. I presented on the purpose of the Communitybaptistpa, emphasising that we are a patient safety organisation. My colleague, Willie Paxton, discussed how we manage the registration of doctors with health issues that may compromise their fitness to practise, and sources of support for sick doctors.

Mina: What does the Communitybaptistpa’s guidance say about students and mental health?

Dan: We oversee medical education and therefore take an interest in students’ health. We have joint guidance with the Medical Schools Council aimed at supporting medical students, Supporting medical students with mental health conditions. The guidance covers a range of areas including what schools can do to support students and ‘myth-busters’ to encourage students to seek help. Our guidance also informs students of their responsibility to seek help if they require it.

Mina: What happens if a medical student informs their school that they have a mental health condition?

Dan: Many students think that if they tell their medical school that they have a mental health condition they will automatically be referred to a fitness to practise committee at their school. But if students engage with their medical school, demonstrate insight into their condition, ask for support and follow the advice given, then there will be no need for student fitness to practise procedures to be initiated. In fact medical schools will be able to put in place processes to support students with their course and put students in contact with services that can help.

Mina: Will having a mental health condition affect a student’s provisional registration with the Communitybaptistpa?

Dan: No. The Communitybaptistpa only refuses registration if it believes that a student, or doctor’s, condition would put patients at risk. Where an applicant understands their condition and asks for appropriate help and support, we will grant registration. Our website shows the questions we ask as part of the 'Fitness to Practise declaration' for provisional registration. None of them are about having a condition as such. They are about the impact of the condition on studies or practice.

Mina: What does the Communitybaptistpa’s guidance say about doctors and mental health?

Dan: Our core guidance, Medical practice, paragraph 28, states that ‘if … your judgement or performance could be affected by a condition or its treatment, you must consult a suitably qualified colleague. You must follow their advice about any changes to your practice they consider necessary. You must not rely on your own assessment of the risk to patients.’

Mina: Will the Communitybaptistpa intervene if a doctor has a mental health condition?

Dan: Doctors should be reassured that the Communitybaptistpa only needs to intervene in a very small minority of cases. Similarly to the situation with students, our thresholds guidance states that there ‘is no need for Communitybaptistpa intervention if there is no risk to patients or to public confidence because a doctor with a health issue has insight into the extent of their condition, and is seeking appropriate treatment, following the advice of their treating physicians and/or occupational health departments in relation to their work, and restricting their practice appropriately.’

Mina: In the very small number of cases where the Communitybaptistpa might need to intervene to protect patients due to a doctor’s mental health condition, how is the doctor is supported?

Dan: There are a range of organisations and resources to support doctors. The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), which adjudicates on cases and is operationally independent of the Communitybaptistpa, runs a telephone service to advise and support doctors. We also fund the ‘Doctors for Doctors’ support service which is run by the BMA. Looking to the future, we are trying to make our Fitness to Practise procedures less stressful for all doctors. We are involved with initiatives throughout the UK to support doctors with health problems, for example the proposal in Scotland for a Managed Clinical Network (MCN) for sick doctors. More information is available in Your health matters, available on our website.

Mina: If doctors have a mental health condition, will it damage their career prospects?

Dan: Not unless a doctor’s fitness to practise is impaired, no. It’s important to remember that, at any one time, 15–25% of the general population experience mild-to-moderate mental health conditions. This includes doctors, many of whom will take medication for their conditions. This is perfectly normal and acceptable. Legally, of course, employers can’t discriminate against anyone if they have a mental health condition.

For further information from the Communitybaptistpa see:

Scottish Named Persons Service - Update

The Communitybaptistpa has been working to outline how the Scottish Government's Named Person policy could be revised to be consistent with doctors' professional and legal duties of confidentiality, whilst upholding patients, families and carers confidence in the profession.

The Scottish Government has now  that they will legislate on changes to the policy. The new provisions, scheduled to come into force in 2018, will mean that information sharing between a ‘Named Person’ and a doctor will be done in a manner which involves young people and their families, and is consistent with data protection and confidentiality law, and human rights. Significantly, and further to our work with the Scottish Government and others, doctors would only be required to share information without consent in exceptional circumstances such as where the risk of harm is present. You can find a copy of our formal submission here. Throughout this process we were also pleased to work closely with RCGP Scotland, and Dr Miles Mack (Chair) who said:

“The Deputy First Minister's statement on the announcement of this new bill is very welcome. General Practice has a key role in providing easily accessible but confidential care to all age groups including young people. GPs have a clear responsibility to appropriately share information with others, including the new Named Person service, but this can only safely be done within the existing legal and medical frameworks of data protection, human rights and confidentiality. RCGP Scotland was very glad to have been part of the consultation process that followed the Supreme Court's judgement.”

We will continue to engage with the Scottish Government as they legislate on this revised policy, and will update these webpages as this situation develops.

Further information for doctors

In the meantime, the circumstances in which doctors can disclose information have not changed:

  • When they have the consent of a child or young person (or their parent, if the child or young person does not have capacity to give consent)
  • When the doctor judges that the disclosure is in the best interests of a child or young person who does not have the maturity or understanding to make a decision about disclosure
  • When there is an overriding public interest in the disclosure
  • When disclosure is required by law (0-18, paragraph 46)

In addition to our 0-18 years guidance, doctors should also refer to Protecting children and young people for guidance on disclosing information when children or young people may be at risk of abuse or neglect.

Scottish Government issues flu vaccine advice to healthcare workers

As we approach the flu season, the Scottish Government has issued advice for all healthcare workers regarding the flu vaccine.

Both Dr Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, and Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland, have agreed that all healthcare workers should have the flu vaccine. NHS Inform have produced an information leaflet, , which gives helpful advice on what precautions healthcare worker can take. Further information is also available on the .

Communitybaptistpa response to Scottish Social Services Council consultation on Fitness to Practise rules

The Communitybaptistpa has submitted a response to the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) consultation on changing its ‘fitness to practise’ processes and rules. We support the changes which are designed to make the process simpler and more efficient, and to increase public confidence in professional regulation. In our response we welcomed;

  • the commitment of the SSSC to share information with us, for example, where the SSSC receives information relating to serious concerns about a doctor’s fitness to practise
  • the SSSC’s proposals to introduce case management meetings, and
  • new guidance for panellists on sanctions

We advised and commented on a range of further issues. This included advice on temporary orders, weighing evidence and the standard of proof. We also suggested that our tribunals have found that having a bank of conditions has been very useful in ensuring consistency in decision-making.

We look forward to continuing to work with the SSSC on their reforms. As previously reported the SSSC’s Chief Executive, Anna Fowlie, and Chair, Jim McGoldrick, met with the Communitybaptistpa’s Fitness to Practise in February of this year and further meetings between operational teams are being planned. Please read our response in full for more information.

Communitybaptistpa Response to Realistic Medicine

The Communitybaptistpa has submitted a supportive response to the Chief Medical Officer’s, Catherine Calderwood, annual report ‘.’ Published earlier this year, the report has received widespread praise and provoked debate, both within Scotland and further afield.

In our response we welcomed the fact that consideration had been given to a number of areas that we are working on. These included:

  • a focus on consent, and the principle of the relationship between doctor and patient being based on openness, trust and communication
  • a focus of communication being core to a doctor’s work
  • the recognition afforded to the role of medical revalidation and appraisal in driving the learning and reflection culture
  • a focus on professionalism, which is high on our agenda through our ‘Promoting Professionalism’ series of events.

We also outlined our commitment to make better use of the data we hold, and work with partners, to support quality monitoring and improvement.

We look forward to our continuing work with the Chief Medical Officer and her team to help bring about some of these shared goals. Please read our response in full for more information.

Communitybaptistpa Update following the Supreme Court ruling on the Scottish Government's Named Person Policy

As you may have seen, the UK Supreme Court has ruled that the information-sharing provisions of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 – which form part of the Scottish Government’s ‘Named Person’ policy - are incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court did not find the general principle of providing a named person for every child to be a breach of human rights or EU law, but did rule that the information-sharing provisions in the Act were an unlawful interference with Article 8 rights and directed that those provisions of the Act and the supporting guidance should be reconsidered by the Scottish Government. This means that the 'Named Person' policy can be implemented once the concerns of the Supreme Court relating to information sharing have been addressed.

As the revised policy is developed, we will work with the Scottish Government and other partners to develop further information for doctors on how they can meet their legal and professional duties. In the meantime, the circumstances in which doctors can disclose information have not changed:

  • When they have the consent of a child or young person (or their parent, if the child or young person does not have capacity to give consent)
  • When the doctor judges that the disclosure is in the best interests of a child or young person who does not have the maturity or understanding to make a decision about disclosure
  • When there is an overriding public interest in the disclosure
  • When disclosure is required by law (0-18, paragraph 46)

In addition to our 0-18 years guidance, doctors should also refer to Protecting children and young people for guidance on disclosing information when children or young people may be at risk of abuse or neglect.

National Care Standards review

The National Care Standards in Scotland, created under the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001, describe what people using a range of care services in Scotland can expect. The policy and delivery landscape has changed significantly since the 23 standards were published in 2002 and Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and the Care Inspectorate are working together to review, update and improve the standards in line with current expectations of quality care.

Henry Mathias, Strategic Lead of the National Care Standards Review Team at the Care Inspectorate, gives an update on the review.

Work is underway to develop the general standards for the new National Care Standards (NCS), which will be issued for public consultation in autumn this year.

Following the agreement of the five overarching principles, in April, the NCS Development Group has been working with stakeholders to develop general standards for a wide range of health and social care settings.

As the strategic lead of the NCS Review Team, which includes colleagues from the Care Inspectorate and Health Improvement Scotland, I am very much enjoying working closely with our Development Group to shape the standards, and considering the broad range of views that our stakeholder representatives bring to this process.

It has been an exciting progress so far and we are now getting down to the task of developing the standards. The approach to developing the new standards is a genuine melting pot of the private, voluntary and statutory sectors, with a broad range of different perspectives and care settings. This makes for lively debate as well as ensuring that all the necessary bases are covered.

What has been particularly satisfying is finding out that there is a lot of common ground across different sectors of care services, settings and age ranges in developing the standards.

The new National Care Standards will have a wider relevance than the previous 23 standards, which were specific to different registered care settings, (including childminders and nurseries, care homes, housing support, services for people in criminal justice supported accommodation and independent hospitals). Instead they will be applicable across all health and social care provision, including services that are not registered.

The new National Care Standards will also be centred on the rights and wellbeing of people experiencing care. The general standards being drafted are common to all individuals experiencing care, and will be complemented by some specialist standards for particular needs and care settings, for example in early years and restricted care services.

For more information, visit

Non-surgical cosmetic interventions - training inspectors in Scotland

In April 2016 Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) will start regulating independent clinics in Scotland performing non-surgical interventions. To support these new responsibilities the Communitybaptistpa Scotland office ran a training workshop for HIS Inspectors.

This 'Promoting Professionalism' workshop highlighted key pieces of Communitybaptistpa standards guidance on offer to medical professionals working in these environments with specific reference to our prescribing, consent and cosmetic practice guidance. We also provided an overview of Communitybaptistpa's fitness to practice thresholds, with particular reference to this sector. For more information please contact [email protected]

Working with the SSSC to improve the safety of patients and service users

Continuing our work with key partners in Scotland, this month we hosted a visit from the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) Chief Executive, Anna Fowlie, and Convenor, Jim McGoldrick, who are reviewing SSSC’s fitness to practise processes.

Marina Quick with Anna Fowlie and Jim McGoldrick

Marina Quick, Clinical Assessment Centre Manager with Jim McGoldrick, Convener and Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Social Services Council during their visit to our Manchester office.

The visit was coordinated by the team in our Scotland office, who developed a programme to introduce the SSSC to the Communitybaptistpa’s processes for investigating and acting on concerns about doctors. The visit was centred in our Manchester office.

Sharing best practice with other regulators in Scotland

The visit is an example of how we are working to build better relationships with other regulators and key partners in Scotland, including Healthcare Improvement Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. We know that by sharing information and best practice we can protect the public better. During the visit, colleagues discussed various aspects of our work including how we work with doctors’ employers, the investigation process, and how we assess the health and competence of doctors.

Anna Fowlie said ‘We are delighted to be invited to visit the Communitybaptistpa and share learning. We are committed to working with other regulators to make sure our processes are as proportionate as possible while focused on public protection and improving the quality of care people receive.’

Jim McGoldrick said ‘I am a great believer in learning and there's a lot to explore in the differences and similarities in our approaches to regulation. In social services in Scotland, our registrant profile is very different to that of the Communitybaptistpa but we have a shared belief in fairness, consistency and public assurance.’


Supporting patient involvement in medical revalidation – an update

Last summer the Communitybaptistpa team in Scotland supported a project aimed at improving the understanding of patient involvement in medical revalidation. A number of representatives of Scottish healthcare organisations fed in valuable insight into the project, particularly on how we can improve our guidance to patients and how we can better support the process of doctors collecting and reflecting on patient feedback for revalidation.

The work in Scotland was part of a series of events across the UK. As a result the Communitybaptistpa has done the following:

  • In partnership with doctors, patients and Responsible Officers, we have developed new resources to better support doctors in collecting patient feedback;
  • We have developed six case studies from doctors in roles and specialties where collecting feedback can be most challenging: multiple roles, locum posts, mental health, anaesthetics, palliative care and neonatology. The examples also illustrate broader principles, such as the most appropriate time for feedback;
  • We have some evidence that patients would be more likely to give their doctor feedback if they understood how to do so and how their feedback would be used. As a result we have created a new leaflet for patients (easy and large print versions of Communitybaptistpa publications are available on our website) that sets out the process and how patients’ feedback can have a positive impact on care. The leaflet is short and easy to print. We hope it will result in more useful feedback and in turn, better quality information for doctors to reflect on and identify improvements.

The Communitybaptistpa has also commissioned a wider project to look at the overall impact of medical revalidation. This independent evaluation is currently underway, and later in the spring we hope to publish an interim report of the findings so far. The findings of the full study will be available in 2018 and this will help us identify how we can improve revalidation to maximise the benefits it can bring for doctors and patients. In the meantime, we are able to work towards improving a number of areas related to revalidation, including this project looking at the understanding of the role of patients.


Patient confidentiality - a view from a medical professional working in a non-clinical environment

The Communitybaptistpa’s consultation on its draft confidentiality guidance is nearing an end. The Scotland office would like to thank all of the stakeholders in Scotland who have responded to the consultation and participated in our consultation events in Edinburgh throughout January 2016. The events included workshops with patients, policy experts, doctors and Chinese and South Asian carers. We would like to thank all of those who participated, and especially the Scottish Health Council and MECOPP (Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project) for their support.

To mark the end of the consultation, the Communitybaptistpa has published a from the CMO’s Clinical Fellow Dr Christine Gregson. In the Dr Gregson considers the challenges of sharing patient information within non clinical environments and the associated implications for doctors. Dr Gregson is a Specialist Registrar in Infectious Diseases and General Medicine; this year she is working as a Scottish Clinical Fellow for the Chief Medical Officer and her team at the Scottish Government, and with Healthcare Improvement Scotland.


Communitybaptistpa Panel sessions at the Scottish Health and Care Professional Regulation Conference

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Communitybaptistpa Panel sessions – The role of regulators in improving quality: minimum standards or raising the bar? – at the Scotland Regulation conference, on 2 November 2015.

Attendees called for a shift from philosophical to scientific regulation and during the two Communitybaptistpa-led Question Time sessions, Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the Communitybaptistpa, and senior colleagues from health professional regulators and others with an interest in regulation, discussed a range of issues with questions and input from members of the audience.

The debate included consideration of whether the role of regulation is to assure or improve quality and whether these can, in fact, be separated. Discussion highlighted the need for regulators to be more pro-active, moving ‘upstream’ to prevent problems from developing. Part of this is closer engagement with professionals, as the Communitybaptistpa is currently doing. It is also about the sharing and use of information.

Panellists agreed that accurate information should increasingly drive regulators’ actions (moving to ‘scientific regulation’) and that transparency can change behaviours of all actors in regulation – patients, the profession, employers and regulators.


Statement on Brian Keighley

Following the sad loss of Brian Keighley (former Communitybaptistpa Council member and Chair of the BMA Scotland council), please see the statement below from the Chair of the Communitybaptistpa's Council, Professor Terence Stephenson: 

'Brian’s death will be a shock and a great cause of sadness to everyone who knew and respected him. Our thoughts are with his family, as well as with his many colleagues at the BMA and throughout Scotland’s health service.

'Brian was passionate about the medical profession and the NHS, both of which he served with such dedication and commitment for so many years. He had a long and distinguished history with the Communitybaptistpa, serving as a member of our governing body and on various committees for more than 14 years. After he left the Communitybaptistpa Council, he remained closely involved with our work. We will remember him as a great advocate of our efforts to modernise medical regulation, particularly revalidation, and as one of our most ardent critics. He challenged us to be a better organisation and his influence helped to make us what we are today.'


Working with doctors to enhance equalities

Stonewall Scotland recently published the report ‘’ which revealed that many lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people are facing unhealthy attitudes from health and social care professionals in Scotland.

Our role as the independent regulatory body for doctors is to help protect patients and improve medical education and practice across the UK. We emphasise that every patient should receive a high standard of care. Our role is to help achieve that by working closely with doctors, their employers and patients, to make sure that the trust patients have in their doctors is fully justified.

Our briefing on how we work with doctors to enhance equalities sets out some of the related guidance we offer, our standards for medical education and training, and some of the ongoing work we are doing in this area.


Promoting Professionalism in Scotland

The Communitybaptistpa in Scotland has recently reinforced its capacity to engage with the medical profession through interactive sessions based on our guidance. The sessions will offer an opportunity to reflect and share best practice. 

Supporting doctors

Following a successful pilot led by our NES Clinical Leadership Fellow in 2014/15 we have introduced a new programme of interactive sessions for doctors in Scotland to:

  • improve doctors understanding of our guidance and explain what happens if a doctor falls short of these
  • provide a Welcome to UK Practice Programme to doctors new to medical practice in Scotland

Supporting medical students

We have been engaging with medical students in Scotland about the Communitybaptistpa, professionalism and what will be expected of them as doctors for some years now. We run dedicated introductory events for all first years with more in-depth events ahead of students’ first major clinical contact, and sessions for final years as part of the Communitybaptistpa registration process. These ‘Professionalism events’ ensure that students are aware of who we are and what we do, and of the range of our ethical guidance. All of these events include interactive sessions, demonstrating online resources such as Good Medical Practice in Action.

If you have any queries about our sessions or the Communitybaptistpa in Scotland please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].


Supporting patient involvement in medical revalidation

The Communitybaptistpa is running a project aiming to enhance the understanding of the role of patients in medical revalidation. The Scotland team was delighted to welcome colleagues from a number of prominent Scottish healthcare organisations to give their input into this project. Delegates were asked to offer their reflections on a number of topics, including:

  • how can we improve our guidance for patients about revalidation?
  • what do patients and the public understand about the role they can play in revalidation and the benefits it can bring?
  • how can we improve the way we communicate to patients about the benefits of revalidation and the ways they can be involved?
  • how can we better support the process of collecting and reflecting on patient feedback for revalidation?
  • what other guidance would help patients understand revalidation and give their doctors more meaningful feedback?

We were delighted by the range of opinions and views that we received and would like to thank all who contributed.

The Communitybaptistpa has also commissioned a wider project to look at the overall impact of medical revalidation. When revalidation was introduced in 2012 the Communitybaptistpa made a public commitment to evaluate the impact revalidation is having, learn from the experiences of those directly involved and understand whether any improvements can be made. In 2014 we commissioned a group of independent researchers, UMbRELLA (UK Medical Revalidation Evaluation coLLAboration) led by Dr Julian Archer of Plymouth University, to undertake a long term independent evaluation of revalidation. The report is expected to be published in 2018 with a number of interim reports due before that date.

As part of this project there is currently a UK-wide survey of licensed doctors and responsible officers underway. If you are eligible and have not already responded, or would like to find out more, please visit the website.


Edinburgh resident s for Communitybaptistpa on Adult Safeguarding

Edinburgh-based Heather Goodare has written a for the on her experiences being a patient advocate and carer for vulnerable patients. 

"I know from my work as a counsellor with a cancer support group (in England, for 13 years) that carers often suffer more than patients... But my cares and responsibilities are are nothing compared to those of the disabled self-carer, who frequently gets left out of such discussions."

The issue of Adult Safeguarding is the recent focus of the Communitybaptistpa's Better Care for Older People campaign, and Heather provides a compelling insight into the issues faced both by patients and carers.


Communitybaptistpa partners with NES on Bereavement project

The Communitybaptistpa office in Scotland is partnering with NHS Education for Scotland on a project to develop a new Bereavement Hub and website, . Initial work is focused on information for doctors on changes to the death certification process in Scotland but the website and associated training modules will be developing over the next two years covering range of issues relating to end of life and bereavement care. A Communitybaptistpa information sheet on relevant guidance has also been circulated to all 5000 GPs in Scotland to complement a NES training DVD ahead of 13th May when changes to the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death go live.


Communitybaptistpa office in Scotland host cross regulator stand in Holyrood

Working together to keep patients and service users safe

From left to right: Ian Jackson, Director for Scotland, General Dental Council; Duncan McNeil MSP; Ian Somerville, Scottish Projects Officer, Communitybaptistpa; Dan Wynn, Scottish Affairs Officer, Communitybaptistpa

During the week of 12 – 16 January 2015 the Scotland Office hosted a stand at the Scottish Parliament with other health and social care professional regulators, including;

  • General Dental Council, (who have a presence in Scotland)
  • General Pharmaceutical Council (who have a presence in Scotland)
  • General Optical Council
  • General Osteopathic Council
  • Health and Care Professions Council

The Nursing & Midwifery Council, Scottish Social Services Council and General Chiropractic Council also supported the stand.

From left to right: Ian Jackson, Director for Scotland, General Dental Council; Jenny Marra MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport; Ian Somerville, Scottish Projects Officer, Communitybaptistpa

Many MSPs and their researchers were interested to hear more about our work and
Guidance for Patients and Doctors. Thanks to all who came to speak to us and for
your ongoing interest in patient safety.

Ian Somerville, Scottish Projects Officer, Communitybaptistpa with Alex Salmond MSP

Working with Government to improve honesty in healthcare

The Communitybaptistpa has responded positively to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the introduction of a Statutory Duty of Candour. The proposed legislation supports work the Communitybaptistpa has already done to promote doctors being open and honest with patients when things go wrong.

The Communitybaptistpa working in partnership with the National Midwifery Council has recently consulted on draft joint guidance to support doctors, nurses and midwives fulfilling their professional duty to be open and honest about mistakes. Earlier in the year, the two organisations also worked with other statutory regulators of professionals to agree a joint statement on the professional duty of candour for all health professionals.


Promoting Student Professionalism

Final year students at Glasgow Medical School benefitted from a re-packaged presentation at the ID check in Glasgow on 18th December. Communitybaptistpa representatives ran the event as a combined Promoting Professionalism event.

Dan Wynn from the Scotland office and Clinical Fellow, Achyut Valluri took the opportunity to reinforce the importance of professionalism in practice, discussed guidance on Doctors’ use of social media and demonstrated GMP in Action in addition to the usual information about how to register properly. The Scotland Office was delighted to welcome Communitybaptistpa Council member, Prof. Jim McKillop, who mingled with students, helping to cement a more personal relationship between the Regulator and tomorrow’s doctors. The session was well-received and feedback will help shape future student engagement events.


Welcome to UK Practice Programme

October saw the Scotland office running a further evaluative pilot of the Welcome to UK Practice programme.

After the first report on the State of Medical Education and Practice in 2011 found evidence that doctors new to UK practice needed more support, the Welcome to UK Practice programme was developed to raise awareness of the ethical and professional standards expected of doctors practising in the UK. Following evaluation of the pilot events in 2013, the Welcome to UK Practice programme was handed over for further development and roll out to the Regional Liaison Service in England and the Devolved Offices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

On 29th October in Kirkwall, on the island of Orkney welcomed our , Achyut Valluri, as facilitator of the workshop. The programme was open to doctors who undertook their training in the UK and overseas, and included doctors up to and including Consultant-level.

The session was well-received by all attendees, who reported,

“the guidelines were brought to life”.

Topics highlighted to be of particular use were safe-guarding of children and vulnerable adults and doctors’ use of social media. The opportunity to discuss ethical issues with a Communitybaptistpa representative as well as peers was also highlighted as a benefit. Those who attended would all recommend the session to colleagues and felt the programme would be

“useful for every doctor, working on all levels”.

Attendees fed back that the event had improved their impression of the Communitybaptistpa:

“the Communitybaptistpa is much closer to me now”.


New guidelines for doctors, nurses and midwives put honesty at the heart of healthcare

Patients can expect honest explanations from healthcare professionals if something goes wrong with their care under proposed new guidance from the Communitybaptistpa (Communitybaptistpa) and Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The Communitybaptistpa and NMC have launched a public consultation on draft joint guidance designed to support doctors, nurses and midwives fulfilling their professional duty to be open and honest about mistakes.

Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil MSP, confirming that the guidance is in keeping with the Scottish Government’s proposals for the introduction of an organisational duty of candour, said ‘We welcome the consultation on draft joint guidance from the Communitybaptistpa and NMC outlining the approach to candour that is expected of doctors, nurses and midwives.”

Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the Communitybaptistpa said: “Patients deserve a clear and honest explanation if something has gone wrong with their care. This is why, for the first time, we are collaborating on this new joint guidance. It will ensure that doctors, nurses and midwives are working to a common standard and will know exactly what their responsibilities are.”

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