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GMC contacting over 8,000 returner GPs about retaining temporary licence

covid vaccinations in Wales

Exclusive The GMC is contacting thousands of returner GPs who were temporarily authorised to practise during the Covid pandemic with advice on how to permanently restore their licence.

The news comes as Pulse can reveal that 8,224 GPs currently hold a temporary licence – a measure which was made possible via emergency legislation brought in at the start of the pandemic.

Although the health secretary can advise when the legislation is no longer needed, the GMC told Pulse it is ‘in ongoing discussions’ with the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure it is given ‘several months’ notice’ before it must remove the registration.

GPs who wish to stay on when the special legislation is removed will need to go through the process of applying to restore to routine registration and a licence.

The GMC said that although there are ‘no plans to fast-track applications’ for returners, it will ‘ensure that registration to routine registration is as streamlined as possible’.

A spokesperson said: ‘We would encourage doctors who have decided to remain in practice to apply to restore their registration and licence now rather than waiting for temporary emergency registration to be removed.

‘We will be contacting doctors with temporary emergency registration over the summer with some more information including how to apply to restore to routine registration and a licence.’

Using its emergency powers, the GMC was able to grant temporary emergency registration to approximately 30,000 doctors in March 2020, making them eligible to support the NHS in responding to the Covid pandemic.

Out of these, approximately 25,000 doctors continue to hold temporary registration – 8,224 of whom are GPs, though not all of them may be practising, the GMC told Pulse.

The news comes as a GP indemnity provider has extended its offer of free medicolegal support for GPs returning to practise to help with the pandemic effort, including Covid vaccinations, until the end of 2021.

Medical Protection director Dr Rob Hendry said: ‘We would like to reassure retired members who are still assisting with the NHS Covid-19 response including the NHS vaccination programme rollout, that this support will remain in place until the end of 2021, and that we will keep under review whether this needs to be extended further.’

The news comes as the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) raised concerns around GP recruitment and retention in its pay recommendation for salaried GPs last week.

The DDRB warned that despite rising trainee numbers, the GP workforce is effectively ‘stagnant’ due to poor retention and an increase in part-time working.

Additional reporting by Nicola Merrifield and Jamie Bennett-Ness


Turn out The Lights 30 July, 2021 10:16 am

Squeaky bum time GMC? When I leave would not respond to this, people leave for a reason, you do not leave an abusive relationship and return for more of the same. Not if you are sane and have choice anyway.

Dave Haddock 30 July, 2021 11:17 am

Are the GMC are short of money?

James Bissett 30 July, 2021 11:29 am

apply for routine registration and licence by that you mean appraisal/revalidation/costs
No thanks

John Graham Munro 30 July, 2021 2:29 pm

We’re not told how many G.Ps were able to take full advantage of their ”temporary licence” —–certainly not 8224

David Turner 30 July, 2021 2:40 pm

Are the GMC are short of money?

Charlie Massey Chief Executive and Registrar £245,000 – £250,000
Anthony Omo Director of Fitness to Practise £200,000 – £205,000
Una Lane Director of Registration and Revalidation £200,000 – £205,000
Neil Roberts Director of Resources and Quality Assurance £200,000 – £205,000
Shaun Gallagher Director of Strategy and Policy £200,000 – £205,000
Colin Melville Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards £200,000 – £205,000
Paul Reynolds Director of Strategic Communications and Engagement £200,000 – £205,000

not sure? !!!

John Glasspool 30 July, 2021 2:57 pm

GIven that the gmc are a bunch of evil, rabidly anti-doctor failures, I told them to get lost when the restored me to the register.
The irony is that, despite being out of it for 7 years, I don’t feel that my knowledge and experience have disappeared. I reckon I could still be useful as a GP, but given the govt and gmc’s view that we are all potential mass murderers, without our annual appraisal and its folder of “reflections” I’m not coming back, even for 1-2 days a week which might have been useful for some patients and practices. I mean, I used to be able to 3-4 home visits a day without pooing myself.
Cheerio gmc!

Patrufini Duffy 30 July, 2021 3:25 pm

This is not a problem.
Every doctor should understand that their own grave draws nearer by the day. When they see this – then all this floundering, bending over and pampering will cease.
Fact of life lesson not taught at medical school.

David Church 30 July, 2021 8:05 pm

All those GMC directors on more that 200,000, presumably for just a 37 hour week, inclusive of study time, so an ordinary GP, with life and death resposibilities for patients for 8am to 8 pm 5 days a week, should earn at least 400,000;
Does the DDRB realise they have mis-calculated the IANR ??
I think locum fees will be going up again soon!
But more to the point, how can the GMC sit in moral judgement over doctors when they take such immoral pecuniary advantage??
Time for some resignations from GMC, please!

Talvinder Ghag 1 August, 2021 12:06 am

Why would you want to?

Paul Attwood 2 August, 2021 2:05 pm

The GMC will cease to exist before I consider rejoining the list. Even then I suspect I’m enjoying being in my grandchildrens’ company too much to give it a second thought.

terry sullivan 5 August, 2021 10:44 am

gmc–still offers phi to staff?

vote of confidence in nhs?

Dave Haddock 6 August, 2021 7:54 am

Would rather move to North Korea than subject myself to the GMC, if given the choice.