Doctors must put patients' safety first and make sure the care they provide is safe and effective

Doctors must take prompt action if they think that a patient’s safety, dignity or comfort is being compromised. Tell a doctor, nurse or another health professional if you see anything that you feel could put you – or someone else – at risk.

Doctors have to report when things go wrong for patients – for example accidents and mistakes, or when patients get serious side effects from medicines – so lessons can be learned. Make sure you tell doctors about any suspected side effects from medicines you have taken, or if there is anything else you are concerned about.Doctor smiling

Doctors must review their own practice

All doctors should have an annual appraisal to review their performance and identify areas where they can develop their practice. At least once every five years they also have to seek formal feedback from their patients. You can help by completing questionnaires and by doing so honestly and fairly.

Doctors review their work and results and compare their own performance with other doctors and other teams. This review of their work helps them identify any areas of their practice that they can improve. Normally your name and any other details that could identify you are taken out of records before they are used in this way. But sometimes that is not practical. You can help doctors improve their performance by agreeing to your records being used.

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