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Guidance for doctors acting as responsible consultants or clinicians

A key recommendation from the Francis report1 was for every patient admitted to hospital in England to have a named, identifiable clinician assigned to them. They are known as a responsible consultant or clinician. The GMC supports stating that ‘ this initiative, which will help to make sure care is properly coordinated and that patients and those close to them know who to speak to if they have questions or concerns about their treatment’.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has produced guidance setting out the role and  responsibilities of a responsible consultant or clinician in England.

For example, these doctors should:

  • ensure a patient’s entire stay in hospital is coordinated
  • ensure that every patient and those close to them know who has overall responsibility for their care
  • ensure that responsibility is transferred to another consultant or clinician when appropriate.

To support responsible consultants and clinicians, and other doctors who have a role in coordinating patient care, relevant sections from existing guidance has been  brought together to help these doctors understand the standards we expect of them. The guidance is relevant to doctors across the UK. These principles should be applied to the particular role and circumstances each doctor faces, including doctors who take on the role of the responsible consultant or clinician.

Key points of guidance for responsibility for patient care are:

  • Take responsibility for the continuity of care provided for your patients
  • Work collaboratively with patients, colleagues and those close to the patient
  • Take responsibility for patient safety and the quality of care provided to your patients
  • Take responsibility if things go wrong
  • Equality and diversity


For further information about the guidance seen original source :


Relevant forthcoming events:

Implementing the Named Responsible Doctor and Nurse in Hospital
Friday 3 October 
ICO Conference Centre

29 July 2014


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    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
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