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Doctors could be forced to apologise to patients over errors

Doctors could be forced to apologise to patients or their families if they have caused them harm, under new proposals.

The General Medical Council (GMC) has outlined a number of plans to help "improve patient protection and public confidence in doctors".

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Doctors 'must be held to account for their actions'

Doctors must be held to account for their actions, the industry's regulator has said as it unveiled new proposals to toughen sanctions.

A new consultation from the General Medical Council (GMC) suggests doctors should be made to apologise to patients or their families for mistakes.

And the regulator's chief executive says stronger action against failing doctors is needed to maintain patients' trust.

In the vast majority of cases one-off clinical errors do not merit any action by the GMC.

But if we are to maintain that trust, in the small number of serious cases where doctors fail to listen to concerns and take action sooner to protect patients, they should be held to account for their actions.

There have been occasions when we have been prevented from taking action in serious cases because the doctor has been able to show that they have subsequently improved their practice. We believe that doctors and patients want stronger action in these serious cases.

– Niall Dickson

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