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GP leaders to debate GMC no-confidence vote at today’s LMCs conference

GP leaders are set to vote on whether the BMA’s GP committee should submit a vote of no confidence in the GMC following the Dr Bawa-Garba case.

The BMA has accepted a last-minute motion at the LMCs conference in Liverpool, which asks GPs to vote on whether they have ‘no confidence in the GMC as a regulatory body’ after it won a controversial High Court bid to strike off the junior doctor from the medical register.

The High Court ruling brought a significant backlash from the medical community, with Dr Bawa-Garba originally being allowed to continue practising by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal (MPTS), after it found she had been operating within a failing system.

The same motion will also see LMC leaders vote on whether GPs should ’disengage from written reflection in both appraisal and revalidation until adequate safeguards are in place’.

This comes after the health secretary, the medical royal colleges and the BMA expressed concern around the use of Dr Bawa-Garba’s own reflections in her e-portfolio, and admission of culpability – which were reportedly used in the case against her.

The motion to be debated at the conference also calls for a Health Select Committee review of ’the GMC’s conduct regarding this case’.

Health Committee chair and former GP Dr Sarah Wollaston has expressed concern over the ’unintended consequences’ of the ruling, and said a review would be necessary ‘not only of system pressures but to make sure clinicians can learn from errors rather than be fearful of discussing them’.

The GMC is set to carry out a review into how gross negligence manslaughter is applied in medicine, which will also look at ‘diversity matters’.

Dr Bawa-Garba had been found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter in 2015. She was a registrar at the Children’s Assessment Unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary on 18 February 2011, and the most senior doctor on the shift, when a six-year-old child with sepsis died.

The motion 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.