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GMC outlines core principles of new doctor support service


As a doctor who is currently undergoing a FTP hearing, all I can say is - about time. I really hope that something positive comes of all this, and I welcome the statements given above, but with one caveat. The study into the 28 doctors who committed suicide failed to address the most important question of all - how many of those doctors had no history of mental illness at the time when their GMC investigation began? Instead, the report - and subsequent statements such as those made by Niall Dickson above - all infer that only 'vulnerable doctors' - doctors with a pre-existing mental illness or addiction, need support. That rather misses the point for two reasons. Firstly, it suggests that the doctors were somehow to blame for their suicides, because they weren't resilient enough. Hence, a little resilience training will make it all better (despite the fact there is no evidence that it would). If one of those doctors had been a loved one of mine, I would be deeply offended by that conceit. Secondly, it fails to recognise that the problems lie in the fitness to practice procedures themselves, which take too long, are not open or transparent and, no matter what the GMC says, DO treat doctors as guilty until proved innocent. I know that from bitter personal experience. The GMC's procedures do not only endanger the lives of 'vulnerable doctors' - they make doctors vulnerable in the first place.

Posted date

15 Jul 2015

Posted time