The extent of bullying trainee doctors are being exposed to has been revealed by a survey.

The General Medical Council, which conducted the poll, says the results highlight the need to listen to young doctors, give them more support and foster a more positive culture.

Just over one in eight (13 per cent) of the 54,000 trainee doctors surveyed said they had been victims of bullying or harassment at work and more than a quarter (27 per cent) reported they had been undermined by senior staff.

A fifth of the trainees said they had witnessed a colleague being bullied while one in 20 said they had voiced concern about patient safety last year.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: “These findings highlight the importance of listening to young doctors working on the front line of clinical care.

“They also suggest that more needs to be done to support these doctors and to build the positive supportive culture that is so essential to patient safety.

“The best care is always given by professionals who are supported and encouraged.

“The survey provides us and employers with crucial information about the quality of the training environment, which is also where patients receive care and treatment.”

Royal College of Physicians trainees committee chairman Ruth Dobson welcomed the fact that trainee doctors were still prepared to raise concerns about patient safety.

But she said the poll showed bullying and undermining remained a “significant” problem, adding that the college was exploring ways to address the problems.

British Medical Association junior doctors committee chairman Kitty Mohan described the bullying findings as “concerning”, saying that more had to be done to combat any environment that enabled such behaviour to continue so junior doctors go about their jobs without feeling intimidated.