Aussie Dearg--gp principal
A lot of people seem to be falling into the trap of blaming the LMC/BMA for their workload and stress and then supporting measures like co-payment that they believe will improve their lot. The NHS was founded to provide"universal healthcare ,based on need and free at the point of delivery". Since Nicholas Ridley drew up a secret paper outling his plans for the denationalisation of public services in 1977, successive governments have pursued the covert privatisation of the NHS by stealth and both we and our patients are the victims. There is only one way to change this and that is to engage the public on our side by making them realise what is going on with their health service. Having worked in Canada,Australia,New Zealand and Ireland, I can assure you that privatisation has it's own significant problems for both patients and doctors.
The basic problems here are funding,staffing and the internal market which combine to place ridiculous workload pressures on GPs.
May I suggest you look up the paper "American Pie: the real story behind "the NHS crisis" by John Furse .He has just made a film titled"Groundswell: the battle for the NHS and democracy" which has been entered for the Berlin film festival but which should be on general release next year. It eloquently portrays the privatisation agenda of the past 40years and the effect it has had on doctors and patients. By supporting co-payments we are essentially putting another nail in the NHS coffin which I do not believe is what the public want. Rather than blame our representatives, maybe we need to educate our patients about what is really going on. A copy of the above article in each general practice would be a good start.
May I suggest a change of the GMC's corporate mission statement to--
"Hounding doctors, Protecting ourselves" .
Let's face it their attempts to overrule the MPTS has nothing to do with protecting patients. In addition the legal fees wasted trying to have MPTS rulings overturned by the High court are being paid through our membership subscriptions. I paid my last one in January and thanks to retirement shall not be renewing it.Like Philtum, I will not pay to have my name taken off the register either.
I feel there needs to be a nationwide witholding of subsciptions until the GMC proves itself to be a truly independent regulator "Supporting doctors,Protecting patients".
The problem with fitness to practice procedures goes much deeper than the Bawa-Garba case. The suicide rate for doctors under going Fitness to Practice Tribunals is a national disgrace and points to a serious underlying problem with The GMC's procedures and a lack of support for doctors. I do not feel that refusing to engage with reflections in appraisal will make any difference.
As most annual subscriptions become due on August 1st( and many others on February 1st) ,may I propose a campaign to refuse to renew annual subscriptions until the GMC engages with the medical profession to ensure that doctors receive fair treatment from tribunals and the GMC undertakes not to seek judicial reviews of it's own tribunal findings. Regulation of the medical profession is not independent and appears increasingly political so I don't see why we should pay for it. It is time to protect overworked doctors from a system that is weighted against them.
No doubt "misreported" feels that it is reasonable for a parent who has lost a child to celebrate, with a bottle of champagne at her son's graveside, the fact that a decent human being has been convicted of manslaughter for her son's death. That sounds like vengeance to me. But the greatest tragedy of all is the loss of trust between doctors and their patients over the past 30 years, much of it encouraged by politicians, the press,the GMC, CQC et al. The GMC's role is particularly disgraceful in that their motto reads "supporting doctors, protecting patients". I remember the witchhunt against the GPs who signed the part 2 cremation forms in the Shipman case even though it should have been the coroner in the dock. All were later exonerated though their careers suffered. How many whistleblowers have been silenced and even driven to suicide by the actions of the GMC. The GMC is not an independent regulatory body but a political body bending to the will of government and failing in its duty to treat doctors in a fair and supportive manner. It is time it was replaced and in the interim I would suggest that all doctors should consider a national subscription boycott.
The interesting thing about the posts I have read is how few doctors are prepared to identify themselves. I can only assume that this is because they are concerned about the effect their freely expressed opinions may have on their careers or even whether they may be victimised by the GMC should they ever come before a disciplinary panel.
In the interests of openness my name is Austin(Aussie) Connor and I am a GP in Hartland ,Devon. I have been a doctor for 37 years and will retire in 11 weeks time. My naive enthusiasm to do my best for others has been gradually eroded by many factors but most of all by the erosion of trust between us and our patients. Much of this has been beyond my control---government policies(e.g commissioning), the press(e.g. The Daily Mail) underfunding,staff shortages, internet misinformation, disclocation of society in general,ambulance chasing lawyers, blame culture,the internal market, irrelevant targets etc etc. The GMC have done nothing to help doctors cope with these seismic changes except to apportion blame to individuals rather than the systems that have made our jobs so complex and distract us from our primary duties of caring for our patients. It is time that the BMA asked us to ballot on a vote of no confidence in the GMC. Not only have they let doctors down but most importantly they have let patients down.
Now I'm off to do the joke that is my appraisal.