It can be more challenging to have these conversations as GP locums because of the limited time to establish a relationship with the patient.
Poppy Kirby (case manager) and Dr Caroline Osborne-White (medicolegal consultant) at Medical Protection outline what to do when a patient safety incident occurs.
Not all patients are going to be forgiving of error, especially when they initially find out about it, and it takes courage to face up to others’ anger, hurt and disappointment. Although the fear of such consequences of openness is well-founded, it is probably exaggerated. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that patients can be surprisingly forgiving and appreciate being given an honest account of an error.1,2,3,4