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Niall Dickson: ‘We want doctors to feel protected’


I have never been referred to the GMC, but this is my story: My former employers, NHS Forth Valley, in what they termed "informal" letters "invited" me to meetings where I was reminded of my responsibilities to the GMC. In my experience this was used as a threat. I had a 13 year unblemished Consultant career with NHS Forth Valley. Worryingly it was my interest in ethics that led to the threat of the GMC. I was advocating for a timely approach to the diagnosis of dementia. NHS Forth Valley did not support my position. I was isolated, mischaracterised and then regarded as "mentally unwell" by senior managers and certain senior doctors. Timely diagnosis of dementia has since been embraced across Europe. It seems to me that we have too many "tools" used in today's healthcare. But it seemed to me that mention of the "GMC" was used as a tool by my former employers. This "tool" felt like an axe to me, cutting down the tree of ethics. Moral of the story: It is worth noting that a significant number of those referred to the GMC, who subsequently took their life, had been referred to the GMC by their employers. Dr Peter J Gordon

Posted date

16 Dec 2015

Posted time