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Good medical practice changes will not open the floodgates to investigations

Good medical practice changes will not open the floodgates to investigations

The GMC responds to Pulse’s story on criticism of its changes to Good Medical Practice

Last week’s Pulse story Proposed GMC threshold change could ‘open the floodgates’ to FTP investigations will have raised concerns among readers about the potential impact of proposed updates to our Good medical practice guidance.

Our proposed wording changes are not intended to signal any difference to the threshold for fitness-to-practise investigations.

Patient safety is our ultimate priority, and we know avoidable investigations are not in the interests of patients or doctors.

We’re consistently working to focus our fitness-to-practise investigations only where we need to act, within the limitations of our current legislation. By law, we’re currently required to investigate any allegation a doctor’s fitness to practise is impaired. We want this to change so we only need investigate where we believe action may be necessary to protect the public.

We welcome reform of our outdated legal powers and remain ready to progress as soon as the Department of Health and Social Care lays the necessary legislation. Reform means we’ll be able to deal with complaints faster and more flexibly.

In our updated draft of Good medical practice we wanted to address previous feedback about the use of ‘serious and persistent’ as a threshold for fitness-to-practise action.

The proposed new wording is intended to better explain when we may take action, to reassure medical professionals and to make it clearer to patients.

We’ve sought views on this and all proposed changes to Good medical practice, and now our three-month consultation has ended we’ll look carefully at the views of patients, doctors, medical defence organisations, and others, before producing our updated guidance.

We wanted a range of perspectives on the changes we had proposed, and we’re pleased with the high response our consultation has had. It’s vital that Good medical practice reflects the reality faced by doctors and supports them to do the best for their patients and their colleagues.

We’re analysing the responses we’ve received, and will continue to involve medical defence organisations, and doctors’ representative bodies, as we finalise the guidance. We’ll share updates throughout the year and expect to publish the updated guidance in 2023.

Mark Swindells is assistant director of the standards and ethics team at the GMC



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Patrufini Duffy 3 August, 2022 4:06 pm

Pulse will be pleased the criticism was ironed out.

The word “We” was used more than 20 times in that response. “We” versus “You” – your opinion is but a mere tick box, we’ve got to do it to show “engagement” “learning” and “involvement” – but it is essentially ignored, back of the file stuff and never really happened feedback. What was the feedback? No one knows – where is the feedback – no ones knows. Funny that – it should be in the inbox of every clinician nationwide. Transparency? Do you think wise and intellectual clinicians are really going to give the GMC feedback? Please – you already know it’s a task with a determined result.

Status quo is best.
Keeps the engine room and salaries running. Keeps it all hush hush.
But no worry, the matrix is falling across all sectors.
Not just healthcare.

In other news, at this current UK trajectory of:
– CQC shut downs of “inadequate” GP surgeries (maybe a good Pulse article update)
– GMC erasures of GP scapegoats (maybe a good Pulse article update there that one can read one’s promised laptop)
– NHSE command and control
– ICB command and control

…then “they” or “We” (whoever that is really) will have succeeded in certainly creating an soulless, disenchanted, technologically warped, all-inclusive, subservient, meagre, and fully patient-centered infrastructure – full of data and meaningful efficiency and zero defensive waste and bureaucracy. Paradise.
Which truly will “reflect the reality faced by doctors”.
No doctors. No surgeries. No one actually cares anymore.
Win win.
“We” won.
Good luck to the good old UK public – paradoxically to suffer this biggest blow by the hands of the institutes, and the “We” game alone. Protect the public – by shooting the workforce.
There lies the ultimate comedy of it all.
So brilliant that they even made it onto a BBC series. Let’s not forget the potency of that storyline.

Not long until the Panorama programme on all this. Front seat viewing.

Just Your Average Joe 4 August, 2022 6:13 pm

I have to say that after 20 years as a GP I am reaching breaking point and for the 1st time seriously questioning whether it would be better to stop being a partner stuck in the front line slog and facing the cr@p from CQC PCN ICB CCG etc and just give up.

Seeing GMC and CCQ hit squads looking to destroy honest doctors with minor issues rather than support and help them back on their feet is even more worrying. Reading how pedantic they are makes you wonder what would happen to 50 per cent of our colleagues if placed under a similar microscope?

Locum work will limits on numbers they will see and on workload for a King’s ransom in daily rate with none of the Red tape and b@ll5hit.

Another potential resignation pending.

David jenkins 5 August, 2022 1:46 pm

Just Your Average Joe

i pray you continue to see sense ! remember – you only work in the system, you are NOT responsible for the failure of the NHS !

come to locumland.

disadvantages – work can be unpredictable, you are sometimes not treated as a “proper doctor” (“just the locum”), no sick pay, no holiday pay, no mat (or pat)ernity pay.

advantages – work as much or as little as you like, set your own fees, holidays when you want, no silly admin; you don’t have to do what that silly girl tells you to; if you don’t get treated properly, or they dump on you, then don’t go back there; no silly audits, no “GANFYD” letters or similar, leave on time, get paid accurately, and on time, no “post payment verification” lasting months before you get paid for the work, no phone calls from NHSE, or other silly penpushers, no need to spend hours “redacting” stuff before joe public reads what you’ve written. just go to work, see patients, document everything, go home, send bill out, get paid !!

i left my rural, dispensing, very highly paid, single handed welsh practice in 2007, after i had a DVT in my right (dominant) arm, and a Hb of 5G%, our health board was told by four separate consultants i could not continue to work as i had been, and i needed help with the practice. their response was “either you’re working, or you’re not – get on with it”, so i resigned then and there.

i now work two days a week as a locum in several different surgeries, i have never had a cross word with any of them, and i’m as happy as a pig in shit ! i’ll continue as long as i enjoy it, even though i’m running off one lung capacity !

i am 72.