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GP leaders instruct GPs to stop written reflections in light of Bawa-Garba case

GP leaders have declared they have no confidence in the GMC, following the recent case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba.

At the LMCs Conference in Liverpool today, LMC leaders also called on the BMA to advise GPs to ’disengage from written reflection in both appraisal and revalidation’ until new safeguards are put in place, with the chair of BMA Wales warning that royal colleges have been asked to submit their members’ reflections to the GMC.

They voted in favour of the motion that said it had ‘no confidence in the GMC as a regulatory body’, despite BMA leaders warning against the motion.

The GP Committee warned that it would harm the relationship with the regulator.

As part of the same motion, conference agreed to lobby the Health Select Committee to review the GMC’s conduct in the case, with proposer Dr Zoe Norris arguing that GPs cannot rely on a review a commissioned by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Dr Norris, chair of the BMA GP Committee’s sessional subcommittee, said: ‘GPs have lost all confidence in the ability of the GMC to be objective and to genuinely balance patient safety against the reality of being a doctor in the modern NHS.

’When you after your 14 hour day in your eighth month of working a partner down with another sick, with your list going up and up, when you make a mistake, are you confident that the GMC will be fair objective and balanced in its investigation of you? GPs have no confidence in the GMC as our regulatory body.’

However, BMA Wales chair and GPC pensions lead Dr David Bailey, said: ‘We have to have a GMC, we have to have a regulator, the public demands it and rightly so.

’We can’t start from scratch again and actually whilst there are real problems at the top of the GMC, the people who work for it are actually by and large people who understand the problems that doctors have, have empathy, have professionalism and are trying to do a good job so we have to try and reform the GMC from within, we have to change their policy particularly in light of the Bawa-Garba case but starting from scratch is not the way to do it. The way to actually engage with the GMC is not to pass a motion of no confidence.’

Motion passed in full

THE GPC: That the GPC seeks the views of conference on the following motion from the Sessional GPs Subcommittee: That conference, following the recent case of Dr Bawa-Garba;

(i) has no confidence in the GMC as a regulatory body

(ii) directs GPC to advise GPs disengage from written reflection in both appraisal and revalidation until adequate safeguards are in place

(iii) request the Health Select Committee review the GMC’s conduct regarding this case

(iv) mandates GPC to urgently implement a system whereby GPs can make collective statements of concern regarding unsafe care.

Readers' comments (38)

  • load of bs &offensive diarrhoea

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  • All for one,10.24pm I tend to agree the GP expert witness assessment was wrong, but there were other subtle emotional factors at play, including wanting to absolve the mother of any feeling of responsibility for having had the ACE given, Dr Bawa-Garba was the convenient scapegoat.

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  • wow David Bailey....
    where did you get that information about GMC. Just look at the MPTS site and that revels all

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  • Actually, dissolving the GMC and starting from scratch (including looking at medical indemnity, compensation) is exactly what we need David. If the GMC were truly a learning organisation there might be a hope, but all evidence, even now, suggests they merely want to make soothing noises until the bad press dries away and continue exactly as before.

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  • Why do we have to support a regulator that has such little faith in its health service that it feels the need to pay for private healthcare for its staff?

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  • Thanks vv 3:48pm 10-3-18
    @David Bailey
    I see you are listed on the GMC advisory forum Wales.
    No conflict of interest there I hope?

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  • GMC is not fit for purpose as it is no longer supporting its own principles of safe medical practice. It’s GMP is soon to be Gone Medical Practice.
    It stands silent on issues of safe working environment and safe working limit on doctors and by doing by so it is part of the problem. It no longer support doctors or stand together with doctors when patient safety issues are raised due to crumbling of support services all around GPs who feel unsafe working in a very pressurised environment which is unsafe. Unsafe volume of work complex problems increasingly dealt in general practice with ever shrinks big time and resource which is unsafe for the doctors and the patients.
    The GMC by remaining silent on these issues supports the political narrative and is not fit for supporting doctors.

    The GMC should be fighting with the doctors to demand for better working conditions which will lead to increased patient safety

    There should be recognition of safe working limits and number of appointments cap.

    There should be a airline pilot style DOCPIT 20 point checklist for trainee doctors at start of the oncall shift to ensure that they work in supported safe work environment and not put them self at risk of facing manslaughter charges when something goes wrong due to organisational shortcomings

    Let’s see GMC fighting for the safe practice of medicine and NOT JUST WAIT IN THE WINGS TO BLAME DOCTORS FOR THE MISTAKES DUE TO SYSTEM FAILURE and hang them dry.

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  • The jury decided that Dr Bawa-Garba was guilty as charged, after being told of the challenges she faced. So be it.

    There is the issue as to why Mr Massey decided (or if not him, who was it?)that the GMC needed to go to the High Court and have its own MPTS determination overturned.
    Any suggestion that in some way this was necessary 'for the protection of the public' is spurious'. So what was the GMC's motive?

    Once the High Court had been approached, it had to support the due legal process. But that legal process was in the hands of a jury - albeit they were not Dr Bawa-Garba's peers, and could have had little real insight into the problems she faced, and just who was responsible for her being in such a situation.(A question they were not specifically asked to consider).

    Those who challenge this whole process will have to seek a clearer definition of how a doctor's peers are identified (or any professional person's). This has been a problem since the concept of 'trial by peers' was devised after Magna Carta - so a lot to take on. Good luck.

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  • The problem with fitness to practice procedures goes much deeper than the Bawa-Garba case. The suicide rate for doctors under going Fitness to Practice Tribunals is a national disgrace and points to a serious underlying problem with The GMC's procedures and a lack of support for doctors. I do not feel that refusing to engage with reflections in appraisal will make any difference.
    As most annual subscriptions become due on August 1st( and many others on February 1st) ,may I propose a campaign to refuse to renew annual subscriptions until the GMC engages with the medical profession to ensure that doctors receive fair treatment from tribunals and the GMC undertakes not to seek judicial reviews of it's own tribunal findings. Regulation of the medical profession is not independent and appears increasingly political so I don't see why we should pay for it. It is time to protect overworked doctors from a system that is weighted against them.

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