Risk management critical as doctors seek work-life balance


For immediate release: Wednesday, 18 December 2019

New figures released today (18 Dec) highlight the critical importance of risk management in general practice as doctors’ efforts to balance wellbeing with work becomes a “new reality”, according to medical defence organisation MDDUS.

The state of medical education and practice 2019 report, issued by the General Medical Council (GMC), shows that doctors are making deliberate decisions to manage their work-life balance and careers that include a move away from traditional working hours.

The report finds that 45 per cent of GPs in the UK now work less than full time. And where, traditionally, reduced hours were chosen by female GPs, nearly 80 per cent of male GPs aged between 30 and 49 reported they are considering reducing their hours in 2020.

Dr John Holden, head of medical division at MDDUS, said: “We recognise many of the conclusions in this important review by the GMC, which reflects our own experience advising and supporting doctors – many of whom are in crisis.

“This trend towards reduced or more flexible hours will demand that doctors, and in particular GPs, ensure they understand and manage the risks that come with the changes it brings to working practices. This is paramount to protect patient safety.

“Adopting a more flexible approach will mean that practices should prioritise systems that ensure continuity of communication in primary care, especially in managing ‘handovers’ of patient care between GPs or in ensuring timely follow-through when making referrals.

“MDDUS offers our members access to training that supports the continual improvement of their management skills. For a decade we’ve provided a highly-regarded, week-long leadership course that is accredited by the Royal College of Physicians, as well as webinars and events focussed on managing change and risk.”


For further information contact Alison Hardie on 07501 421398, or email ahardie@mddus.com

Note to editors

MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is a medical and dental defence organisation providing access to professional indemnity and expert medico- and dento-legal advice for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK. For further information on MDDUS go to www.mddus.com. 

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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