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How Sir Liam could make me quit

From Dr Kamalpreet Sidhu

GP registrar, Gateshead

The changes to regulation proposed by Sir Liam Donaldson make me wonder whether he is just a stooge who is acting on behalf of the Government which is desperate to shield its failures by creating controversies.

A knowledge test would never come any closer to picking up another Shipman. The whole process seems to involve so much unnecessary bureaucracy which is definitely not the real solution for the real issues.

GMC members will be appointed and it will come under purview of Parliament ­ which means political interference. The recommendation to move from the criminal to civil standard of proof in fitness to practise cases is simply baffling. How can it get any worse? It seems the only person who will be pleased with these proposals will be Dame Janet Smith.

We are prepared for any test to demonstrate our competence but it should be something which actually serves the purpose.

All this just makes me think whether I should continue my career in medicine.

· From Dr Ian James, Bolton

Open letter to Sir Liam Donaldson

As a GP of some 26 years' standing and with extensive hospital experience prior to this, both in the UK and abroad, I reckon to have my finger firmly on the pulse of current thinking both among my patients and my professional colleagues.

I think your proposals for ending professional self-regulation and judging doctors on a lesser burden of proof than the criminal courts are a disgrace, wholly unnecessary and will lead to a further decline in the already appalling state of morale within the profession.

Do you not think that it is about time you stood up to your political masters who clearly envy the independence and high standing of the profession among our patients?

It is a devious and cunning ploy to attempt to bring all your draconian measures in

on the back of the Shipman case.

At the end of the day, if you are successful in bludgeoning us into submission, our most valuable role ­ that of patient advocate ­ will disappear. Then, the greatest losers will be our patients.

I am within a few years of retirement. Should your proposals ever come to fruition, I can tell you now that you will lose many mature and experienced professionals such as myself to premature retirement. Again the real losers will be our patients.

I would propose that you get straight back to the drawing board, go and parley with Sir Graeme Catto at the GMC and come out to the sticks to attempt a connection with the grassroots of the profession. Then you just might change your mind before it is too late.

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