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GPs urged to root out 'underperforming' colleagues

By Gareth Iacobucci

Underperforming GPs are dragging their colleagues down with them and should be rooted out of the profession, GP leaders have warned.

A motion unanimously passed at the annual Scottish LMCs conference said LMCs should only support continually underperforming practices if they agreed to follow guidance from the profession to try and address their failings.

GPs warned that the minority of practices that consistently failed to meet standards were giving the Government ammunition to use against the majority.

Delegates agreed it was up to the profession to try and assist these practices, and passed a second strand of the motion, which said LMCs should ‘work with community health and care partnerships and NHS Boards to assist in addressing underperformance'.

But Dr Gary Hamilton, a GP in Glasgow and member of Greater Glasgow and Clyde LMC, who proposed the motion, said practices that showed no interest in following guidance should not be supported.

He said: ‘The small number of practices that insist on doing it their own way bring the profession into disrepute, and give the Government an excuse to meddle. If a practice refuses the profession's guidance, we shouldn't waste resources on it. We will not support GPs who have no intention of performing adequately.'

Dr Paul Ryan, a fellow member of the LMC, said the days of saying ‘there's no such thing as a bad doctor' were gone. ‘It's up to ourselves to police it or it will be imposed upon us,' he said.

Scottish GPC chair Dr Dean Marshall said he was surprised the vote had not been more contentious, but added: ‘This is the right thing to do'.

GPs at the Scottish LMCs conference applauded moves to root out underperforming colleagues

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