The GMC has refused to discuss complaints against doctors connected to the day of industrial action, as it emerged that it received a complaint against a third doctor following the action against the Government’s pensions reforms on 21 June.
The GMC confirmed it received complaints regarding a total of three doctors, one more than previously known, in relation to the BMA’s day of action – but refused to say whether the doctors are now under investigation by the regulator.
It said rules on confidentiality meant it could not confirm whether it had taken the complaints to investigation stage. In the worst-case scenario, the three doctors – if investigated – could be given a warning, be forced to agree undertakings or face a referral to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service for a fitness-to-practise hearing.
The GMC said the complaints would only become public if any potential investigation leads to a warning or hearing.
A GMC spokesperson said: ‘There were complaints received about three doctors. GMC will not discuss the details of individual complaints or investigations due to our duty of confidentiality.’
Niall Dickson, GMC chief executive, told Pulse before the day of action that the regulator would only take action if patients were harmed or put at risk.
He said: ‘Doctors must make sure arrangements are in place to care for their patients before the action on 21 June. As the BMA has made clear, patient safety must come first – [doctors’] actions must not harm patients or put them at risk.
‘We recognise that the circumstances facing each doctor will be different. It will therefore be a matter for each individual to assess their own situation and make sure they follow this guidance.’
It comes with doctors who took action in the NHS North Central London and NHS South West London PCT clusters still under threat of punitive measures.
All PCTs in London wrote to the capital’s 6,000 GPs prior to the day of action to warn them they may face a breach-of-contract notice or withheld pay if they opted to take part. But when approached by Pulse in July, NHS North West London, NHS East London and City and NHS South East London PCT clusters ruled out taking any action against GPs.