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Independents' Day

GMC to restart fitness-to-practise investigations this month

The GMC has set out its plans to restart fitness to practise (FTP) investigations this month.

Existing FTP cases will resume, where this is possible, with flexibility on timescales and on the basis of direct discussion with those involved and ‘careful consideration and agreement’ with responsible officers, the regulator said.

Acknowledging that investigations are ‘difficult’ for all involved’, the GMC said it is of the view that delaying decisions any further could ‘cause additional stress’.

It also said investigations would resume with the ‘understanding that many individuals and organisations remain under pressure and any potential impact needs to be proportionate’.

During this period, it will continue to review concerns that are raised to protect patient safety.

Charlie Massey, chief executive and registrar at the GMC, said: ‘Investigations are difficult for everyone involved, but we’re mindful that delaying our decisions any longer could cause additional stress, so we need to take a balanced approach. This work will progress in direct discussion with affected doctors, medical defence and support organisations, employers and complainants.

‘And because different parts of the system and health service experience the impact of the pandemic in different ways, we’ll be flexible on timescales, and we will highlight the support available to everyone involved.’

In April, the GMC took steps to minimise the impact of its FTP investigations by only requesting information from employers and healthcare professionals where there was immediate concern about patient safety.

Meanwhile, plans are also in motion for the return of Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board 2 (PLAB 2) medical tests for doctors from overseas.

From today (3 July), the first eligible group will be able to be book PLAB 2 test dates, which will occur from 13 August. Priority will be granted to a group of approximately 240 overseas doctors who are currently in the UK, because they were unable to return to their home countries and had their exams cancelled in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Bookings will then gradually open up to other groups of eligible doctors, and because of anticipated high demand, the GMC is aiming to identify and prioritise candidates who already have a job offer and would be able to join the NHS workforce quickly once registered.

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Readers' comments (13)

  • Our Normal Life has just returned. Welcome back guys after our short break in Fantasy land.

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  • well the most pressing and important things are sorted then. Nothing to see here.

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  • Lovely to see you back GMC. Missed you terribly. It’s good that you kept yourself safe.

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  • are they going to investigate the mask and PPE issue as a matter of priority, putting its workforce in danger should be investigated immediately.

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  • Why? Nobody's missing them.

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  • I would not miss useless GMC even if they all get CORONA and bite the grass, our safety has never been a priority for GMC, that we had to use non standard face mask exposed to risk of infection and the fact that GPs have died on COVID, they are simply not bothered,
    but ironically BLM for them,,,,, LOL

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  • How have numbers of doctor suicides been going while GMC and CQC furloughed? Asking for a friend

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  • The kangaroo courts are back!

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  • The message sounds like: "we've used you for the pandemic, now that you are not needed, it is time to back stab you."

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  • The GMC are so much better now. Their communications demonstrate sensitivity. Fitness to practice hearings are always going to be needed- some doctors are bad.
    The GMC however does need to face up to its past and apologise for its previous gross loss of proportion.

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