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It is time to make the case

GPs probably suspected they faced an uphill struggle in the fight against proposed changes to the standard of proof for fitness-to-practise cases.

GPs probably suspected they faced an uphill struggle in the fight against proposed changes to the standard of proof for fitness-to-practise cases.

The size of that task became clearer this week, as both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats admitted they were broadly supportive of the Government's plans.

It is tempting to suggest the BMA's ‘next big battle' – as well as Pulse's relaunched campaign – has been lost before its troops even readied themselves for war.

Tempting, but wrong. Neither opposition party is steadfast in its support of the changes – both are nervous at the prospect of upsetting the medical profession.

There are plenty of rogue Labour MPs, too, who remain unconvinced of the case for change. And if the Commons does push the Health and Social Care Bill through, the struggle does not end there.

It is the quiet work of the MPs' committees that will determine whether the final bill is workable for doctors, and it is here GPs can best make their influence felt.

All of which means it is more important than ever that GPs find their voice. The GMC insists cases involving erasure will be tried at close to the criminal standard, but the case must be made that less serious censures, to be delivered on a lower burden of proof, can still have a devastating effect on doctors' careers.

Pulse has collected more than 1,000 signatures to preserve the criminal standard for all cases. Contact us to add your support.

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