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Junior doctor

Junior doctors are doctors in training, usually in hospital or general practice.


After completing medical school and gaining registration from the GMC, they work under the supervision of a senior doctor, training to become a consultant, associate specialist, GP or even pursue academic medicine.


Patient safety begins with an awareness among clinicians of how patient safety incidents occur, how they might be prevented, and what to do if a patient is harmed or nearly harmed. Junior doctors are the first point of contact for most patients and need to mitigate against medical error.

Medical Error

Medical Error is a booklet for doctors in training. Junior doctors are often in the best position to identify how things could work better on the ground.

The guide outlines the key steps to follow if something does go wrong, including communication, documentation, reporting, learning and how to handle complaints.

Safe foundations

A patient safety education programme has been developed to increase junior doctors’ knowledge and awareness of patient safety, which comprises modules on: 

  • Human error
  • Risk assessment
  • Safer systems
  • What to do when things do go wrong   


More on Safe Foundations


Browse or search for resources below.

TitleIssue dateType
Recognising and instigating prompt treatment for necrotising fasciitis | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Prevention of Harm with Buccal Midazolam | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Risk of skin-prep related fire in operating theatres | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Risk of harm following gastric bypass | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Diagnosis of death after cessation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Risk of harm from CPM syndrome following rapid correction of sodium | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Patient safety issues related to gastrostomy | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Minimising Risks of Mismatching Spinal, Epidural and Regional Devices with...28 November 2011Alert
Keeping newborn babies with a family history of MCADD safe in the first hours...26 October 2011Alert
The adult patient’s passport to safer use of insulin30 March 2011Alert
Use of plastic bags for self harm | Signal25 March 2011Signal
Intravenous morphine administration on neonatal units | Signal25 March 2011Signal
Monitoring patients with fractured ribs | Signal25 March 2011Signal
Early detection and treatment of acute limb ischaemia | Signal25 March 2011Signal
Monitoring plasma sodium levels in babies | Signal25 March 2011Signal
Multiple use of single use injectable medicines | Signal25 March 2011Signal
Reducing the harm caused by misplaced nasogastric feeding tubes in adults,...10 March 2011Alert
Risk of harm to patients who are nil by mouth | Signal14 February 2011Signal
Risk of harm from compression bandages | Signal14 February 2011Signal
Missed diagnosis of fractures in children | Signal14 February 2011Signal