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Independents' Day

The GMC needs to start being the solution, not the problem

Letter from Dr Cathy Welch, Isle of Arran, Scotland 

What planet are the GMC on? The public haven't lost faith and trust in doctors, they have lost faith in the institution known as the NHS. Stop hounding the shop floor workers and start turning your powers to the structures and cultures that foster good practice and the drivers to improve our individual and collective development and improvement. The GMC needs to stop focussing on individuals and their human weaknesses, and concentrate on the factors that make and break good healthcare teams.

That doctor you are investigating is part of a larger picture - a multitude of factors influence their abilities and functioning in any given scenario, personal, professional, environmental, structural, cultural (working culture, not religious). A final result has many roots.

Stop pandering to simplistic populist views about the importance of individual practitioners' transparency and accountability, further compounding the public's confusion about what makes good healthcare, whilst battering the confidence and judgement of compassionate, hardworking, intelligent human beings, and simultaneously feeding the unrealistic expectations of an increasingly anxious society.

The GMC needs to step back, look at the whole picture, not just the individual pixels, and help rebuild the culture of compassion, trust and mutual understanding that will heal this broken healthcare system.

I call on the GMC to stop being part of the problem and become part of the solution.

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Readers' comments (11)

  • hear hear!

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  • Well said Dr Welch

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  • The GMC is incapable at looking at the big picture. They only look at the 'pixels'. This is why they are useless. It mirrors current reductionist culture

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  • Interesting

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  • Good letter!

    Healthcare regulation from the DoH/GMC hasn't come up with safe staffing/workload. A bit odd, isn't it?

    Meanwhile, NICE research on safe nursing staffing levels is scrapped by government. And, there's a deafening silence from healthcare regulators?

    It is the failure to regulate the institutions that is glaringly missing! Scapegoating healthcare workers and throwing the odd body to the mob to justify the existence/jobs of regulators which themsleves lack an evidence base to support what they do needs to be challenged. But isn't that what the likes of the BMA are there for????

    In the US doctors joined together in one state and began a process to set up another health board to replace their own that was out of control and had gone rogue. Apparently, it changed matters. Just wonder if this could happen in our own feudal system where the likes of the Jeremey Hunt's former advisor becomes CEO of the GMC.


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  • I still don't understand why WE have to pay an organisation to police and prosecute us. The GMC is there to protect the public, not us. The population should pay their subscription and we should pay our medical indemnity.

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  • The GMC need to be disciplined. They should refer themselves, conclude they are massively underperforming and then strike themselves off-only fair don't you think?

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  • I am too busy!

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  • Council of Despair

    The GMC is a fascinating institution.

    it exists as there is a statutory requirement for the maintenance of a resister of doctors.

    however, it is registered as a 'charity' and as such enjoys the tax benefits that entails. Interestingly it is a 'charity' in which members have to pay to be registered and in order for members to work as doctors they have to be registered.

    also interestingly, the members (us) have no say in the structure, running or representation within the GMC.

    the GMC has huge powers over doctors and the public with little or no accountability.

    it is an archaic institution - if there was accountability and transparency there would likely be more balance within the GMC but until we have a vote in the way it is run i.e. until it is accountable then there is no surprise that it acts in the way it does i.e. with contempt for doctors.

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  • Solution not apparent and unknown unknown to those becoming one. Don't become a doctor.
    Perhaps career officers in schools need to tell pupils about complaints, litigation and medical law and the GMC.
    Just the facts. Not opinions.

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