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Strikes may put doctors' training and registration in jeopardy, regulators warn

The GMC and health education bosses have warned junior doctors that their training and registration may be put in jeopardy by taking prolonged industrial action.

The GMC has said that junior doctors may face ‘sanctions’ if any patient comes to harm as a result of the strikes.

Meanwhile, Health Education England has said that any trainees who miss more than two weeks work through the strikes will have their training ‘reviewed’.

Last week, the BMA announced plans for junior doctors to take monthly industrial action, of a period of five days at a time, in response to the Government’s imposition of a contract.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges issued a statement highly critical of junior doctors, but Pulse reported that some of its members – including the RCGP – distanced themselves from the statement.

The GMC and HEE have become the latest bodies to state their position on the industrial action.

In a statement about the planned industrial action, GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘The GMC has powers… to investigate and apply sanctions to any doctor whose behaviour has fallen consistently or seriously below the standards required. Where we are presented with evidence that a doctor’s actions may have directly led to a patient or patients coming to significant harm, we would be obliged to investigate and if necessary take appropriate action.’

Mr Dickson urged doctors who are contemplating further and escalated industrial action to ‘pause and consider the possible implications for patients’ which will ‘mean the cancellation of tens of thousands of operations and procedures, outpatient appointments and tests’.

HEE has said that the prolonged nature of the industrial action could have a consequence for doctors in training.

In a statement, it said: ‘HEE respects the rights of doctors in training to take industrial action as employees. Whilst industrial action in the short term may not necessarily compromise their training, there could be circumstances where prolonged industrial action and loss of training experience impact on a doctor’s ability to demonstrate competence and the satisfactory completion of the curriculum.

‘To manage this issue, HEE will comply with GMC guidance that states if a trainee misses more than two weeks (when a trainee would normally be at work), over and above annual leave, that the satisfactory training progression of a trainee should be reviewed at their next Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP).’

Readers' comments (26)

  • Who is applying pressure on the regulators to come out with these threats? The regulators should be looking to see if the training is compromised by the new contract and checking that patients will be kept safe. It could all be avoided if the Secretary of State withdraws the imposition and there is an honest debate about how much the country can afford to pay for its seven day NHS.

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  • As main function of GMC is Protecting patients/ Public it should be funded by Public funds nut by Doctors really

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  • One suspected the regulators are an arm of government with direct line to the SoS .What about the unsafe rotas,the lack of training and the excessive hours that are currently being worked(lots of unpaid overtime).What dont the regulator work for the safety of the patients and set maximum time and enforced breaks like HGV drivers and airline pilots.They dont because they are the establishment.A branch of government.

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  • The SOS is pulling the strings on the GMC to threaten the junior doctors as it threatens us on our daily day to day work.

    This profession is hammered on and on.

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  • Do HEE live on a parallel universe. Part of the reason for the strike is the shortage of JDs due to crap and soon to be crapper working conditions. Does HEE really think that blocking some doctors from further training is going to resolve the current mire.

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  • The GMC bullies the doctors on patient safety - why the GMC cannot do anything about patient's unsafe care from gross understaffing etc etc - the SOS is laughing his head off.

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  • Chair of GMC was on Radio4 with John Humphries this morning.

    Question put to him
    - the doctors has the right to strike but why is it that GMC does not think they have the right for that strike to have impact?
    - if the GMC has the duty to protect the public, why are they singling out junior doctors when government cuts and hospital management may also be causing harm to patients

    He's answer on both - we are concerned with regulating doctors for purpose of protecting the public only. Rest isn't their problem!

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  • The GMC and Accademy of whatever have got their priorities all wrong - if they want a happy and successful workforce in the long term. Beating them into submission will breed resentment worse than now.

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  • THE USUAL "THUGGERY" IS ALIVE AND WELL, THEN !!
    THIS COUNTRY IS ******* AWFUL.
    I AM SICK OF THE BULLYING CULTURE ENDEMIC IN THE MEDIA, POLITICS AND MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT.
    HOW DO THESE "THUGS" SLEEP AT NIGHT, AFTER A GOOD DAY "MENACING" OTHERS????

    THIS COUNTRY WILL LOSE ALOT OF DOCTORS..AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS THERE SHOULD BE CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS OF THOSE WHO "TERRORISED" THEM.

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  • 12:48 I agree
    GMC continuing to brutalise and bully doctors. Putting juniors under more pressure and into more jeopardy instead of reflecting that they are taking difficult measures for the sake of the longterm future of NHS. They havent learned and won't cease until we're all burned out/emigrated/dead. Doctors all dead=no risk of patient being harmed by doctor=job done, gongs all round.

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