Oh dear GMC. This is appalling. Shame on you. No trust left whatsoever. Appraisal and revalidation now rendered meaningless as openness and reflection are no longer safe. Establishment man Charlie moves on from junior Dr new contact shambles to total profession distrust. Must be due a gong soon.
It was only a matter of time before Charlie was at the helm whilst the GMC shot itself in the foot. Well done GMC you have just the destroyed the trust of a whole profession! Rather than pursuing this very unfortunate Dr, who was put in an impossible position by her employer and oddly absent Consultant, the GMC should have been reflecting on the circumstances both of the incident and the criminal case. Why did the prosecution go to such lengths to exclude the hospital investigation findings? Why did the judge agree to this, thus preventing the jury from hearing all the relevant evidence? This injustice and the hands on from the GMC simply stink.
This is a time when the whole profession needs to stand together with other NHS workers. The consultants have voiced support. What is clear is that governments do whatever they want to, none more than the current one. They have a disregard for fact and honesty and less for public opinion. Where they are sensitive is in areas of personal gain and influence. I have seen it it suggested that the consultants could bring their powerful influence to the fore in a way which would not harm NHS patients. They could give reasonable notice to all the private providers of an intent to withdraw services for new referrals for a period of perhaps 28 days. In doing so they should request that their concerns regarding the arrogant and unfair behaviour of the government is the cause, and that the time is required is required to support their beleaguered juniors. They should encourage the private sector to use whatever influence it has to change the behaviour of the DoH and the current HS. Given that many of these organisations have as directors ex politicians and members of the HoL the lines of communication are already open. The potential fall in profits and dividends, and awarding of directorships, is possibly the only way for them to see 'reason'.
One of the promises of the 2004 nGMS contract was that it would be 'high trust, low bureaucracy'. Failure by Government from the onset to keep the bargain is killing general practice.
We are so, so busy and so, so hard done to that we (sorry, some of you) bleat about how desperately unfair it is to be expected to stand up for a relatively small group of patients trapped in an absolute bureaucratic nightmare.
In the longer term our representatives need to impress upon Government that the current situation regarding ESA assessments is totally and shamefully unacceptable. In the short term some of our patients (I repeat, OUR PATIENTS) are suffering severe distress and financial hardship. Very few groups have the power and influence to make any difference in this situation. We do. Consistently surveys have shown that GPs remain highly trusted and respected by patients. Abandoning the impoverished and unwell damages us all collectively. It brings shame on the profession.
To me the choice is quite simple. The question is whether Atos/DWP has made an error and unfairly deprived a patient of deserved benefit. If so, as the patient’s advocate, then support is appropriate. For the patient to have arrived at this situation we have already implied support by issuing at least one Med 3 and possibly an IB 113 as part of our GMS contract. If, in declaring a patient fit for work, the Atos/DWP decision is felt to be significantly contrary to a firmly held view then surely it is right to reinforce our opinion in a brief letter of support.
Yes, at this stage it is now a non-contractual matter; but for goodness sake is it right to charge poor people for such support? I think not, but clearly some colleagues do.
On this point a relatively new patient, clearly used to professional cold indifference asked me a rather pertinent question, ‘Do you live in our world?’ Personally I believe I do. Reading some of the detached uncaring opinions regarding this subject it is clear that many GPs probably do not.