Dr Pallavi Bradshaw, Senior Medicolegal Adviser at Medical Protection said:
“The GMC is right to acknowledge the 'state of unease in the profession’- patient expectations are changing and GPs are more likely to be sued now than ever before. It is important to strike a balance between holding doctors to account and reducing unnecessary pressures. A significant amount of GMC investigations into doctors – around two thirds - are closed without action. On the surface this may appear positive, however it raises serious questions over why and how these cases are able to proceed to a full investigation.
“We support doctors day in day out when faced with a GMC investigation so are aware of the immense impact it can have. In our survey of 180 doctors investigated by the GMC over five years, 93% said it had impacted on their stress and anxiety. The complaints triage process must be improved as a priority so the focus shifts away from investigations that are unnecessary, and the threshold for opening an investigation should be reviewed. We welcome GMC’s recognition that improvements are needed in a number of areas.”
For a PDF of the press release, please click here
For further information please contact Kate Ison, Medical Protection Media Relations Manager at +44 020 7399 1428 or email email@example.com
Notes to editor:
1. View the GMC’s State of Medical Education and Practice in the UK report, published 27 October 2016
2. MPS conducted a survey in October 2014 of doctors, including GPs and consultants, who had been involved in a GMC investigation in the last five years to understand more about their experience and determine the impact it had on their health. The survey received 180 respondents. The full press release can be found here