GP providers have nothing to fear from pilot access plan
The GMC is at the centre of a new scandal after it revealed confidential medical information about a GP on its website.
Details of conditions on the GP's registration, including that the GP must remain under the medical supervision of a consultant psychiatrist, were posted on the GMC's interim orders page.
A local newspaper in the GP's home town then reported the information in an inflammatory article which also gave the GP's address and said the doctor was the subject of 'undisclosed allegations'.
The GP, who asked to remain anonymous so as not to prejudice a potential legal action against the GMC, told Pulse of the 'distress and devastation' caused by its blunder.
'I am totally devastated,' the GP said. 'When you are suffering with depression, to have that sort of thing happen to your professional reputation and that in the local community....I have been shabbily treated by the GMC.'
As a consequence of the case, the GMC last week removed the interim orders page from its website because of fears it had revealed similar information about other doctors.
It also sent an apology to the GP's solicitors. But the GP, who is on long-term sick leave, said the damage had already been done.
The scandal comes a week after GPs branded as 'disastrous' new GMC plans to put information about doctors' health problems on its website for prospective employers to access.
The changes could also make medical information available to PCT managers and GPs' partners.
The GMC's action also flies in the face of its existing commitment not to reveal information about a doctor's ill-health.
In a statement, the GMC said it had removed the interim orders page because of the concerns raised by the GP.
It said: 'We felt it appropriate to quality check the information that is published on the website.'
Dr Alasdair Young, vice-chair of the Sick Doctors Trust, said the GMC's action could have devastating consequences for the GP affected. He said: 'It is extremely worrying that the body responsible for protecting patients and doctors' welfare can be as slipshod. This is another example of what looks like incompetence.'
By Daile Pepper