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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

GMC to launch 'very serious' review into complaints against BME doctors

Exclusive The GMC is set to launch a ‘very serious piece of work’ looking into the high level of complaints against black and minority ethnic doctors compared with white doctors.

Charlie Massey, chief executive of the GMC, told delegates at the Pulse Live event that investigative practices within the regulator have been found to be ’absolutely above board’ every time they have be audited.

But he said that there were questions around why BME doctors face more complaints than white colleagues. 

The review will also look at ’the under representation of other doctors that perhaps could be complained about’.

He said: ’What is driving the overrepresentation of BME doctors that have been complained about? And indeed potentially the under representation of other doctors that perhaps could be complained about?’

Mr Massey added that this created ’a double whammy effect’.

He told delegates the GMC was looking ’to do a very serious piece of work’ that looks at ’the overrepresentation of BME doctors that have been complained about’.

The investigation would look at the ’path of BME doctors through education’ among other factors, he added. 

It comes after the GMC faced huge criticism from the medical profession after going to High Court in order to strike off Nigerian-born paediatrician Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, after she had previously been convicted of gross negligent manslaughter.

Mr Massey also said he felt he had ’no choice’ but to take its own medical tribunal to court after it decided to suspend Dr Bawa-Garba, but keep her on the medical list. 

The GMC took legal advice which said ’the tribunal erred in law in the way in which they reached their conclusions’.

Mr Massey told GPs that although he didn’t feel he had a choice in pursuing the case, adding: ’I did so with a heavy heart. I didn’t anticipate the degree of outcry that there has been over this case. I recognise that that is going to take some time to rebuild confidence.’

This comes after GMC chair Professor Terence Stephenson said he is ‘extremely sorry’ for the distress caused to the medical profession after the regulator went to High Court to strike off the junior doctor.

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Readers' comments (30)

  • The best way to avoid complaints is to avoid patients.

    The term doctor is misleading, and anachronistic,many work in academia,tertiary referral, administration etc.Some even work for the GMC.

    This is about frontline, demand led, coalface,patient contact,and the sheer quantity of it.

    In scientific medicine,one would standardise the parameter being studied

    Do BME doctors have more complaints,per consultation,per clinical problem,per ongoing medical condition that the patient has.

    Personally i would propose that as the number of issues per consultation rises the time needed rises by the square of that number,not a direct linear relationship.Patients skip back and fore between problems, and make assumptions, that are often not valid..Disentangling the issues is extremely time consuming.

    White doctors work in white, middle class, articulate educated areas,and still we get complaints.Apologies to those who work in deprived areas.

    I fear the GMC,are unlikely to recognise all the confounding variables which conspire to drive up complaints against BME doctors.

    A separate parallel investigation by independant GP's funded by the GMC may produce entirely uncomfortable findings.Indeed they may well be, in fact, better than us.

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  • Doctors are the enemies of themselves. The only protest the GMC will listen to is withdrawal of funding (c.f. current GMC petition - only 25,000 have signed).
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/211232

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  • Too little too late.
    No trust left.
    Resign all those mealy mouthed gong chasers who are obviously absolutely cra**pping themselves.
    Rip it up and start again.
    They (GMC) say they have reflected? Until Dr Bawa Garba is exonerated and back at work then this is just another lie, sadly commonplace in todays world in the place of honour and a recognition of greater responsibility.

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  • Just because you voted Brexit doesnt make you racist

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  • The GMC is independent, according to the government response to the petition on funding, yet it seems to have a political appointee as its head.

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  • NO But the Brexit campaign use the jonny foreigner card to get extra votes from disenfranchised members of our society who felt these people were taking their jobs houses and using their benefits/health system at a cost to them.In the real world the majority of migrants to this country pay taxes and work really hard and make a valuable contribution to us at all levels.A lot of the economy inculding the NHS and care system will collapse without them.

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  • What would happen to a GP who had lost the confidence of virtually all of his patients? To carry on is arrogant in the extreme.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    "And indeed potentially the under representation of other doctors that perhaps could be complained about?’"

    Trying to drum up more business for his witchfinders clearly.

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  • Can't see the point of complaints. Punters are very fortunate there are still some GPs left to complain about. I'll be one less soon.

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  • CENSORSHIP?

    The GMC took legal advice which said ’the tribunal erred in law in the way in which they reached their conclusions’.

    The GMC is outraged at the legal process of its own medical tribunal
    but feels no need to assess the Gross injustice of Bawa Garbas initial trial where the trust and prosecution was able to withold a huge category of failings on the basis of them having been addressed since the death of Jack

    Surely The GMC then needs to insist on an appeal of the initial court case
    and safeguard the public from the trust in question

    Truth is your organisation wants heads to roll and you will go to all ends to achieve this

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