In response to the General Medical Council (GMC)’s report on doctors who have died while under investigation or during a period of monitoring, Dr Rob Hendry, Medical Director at Medical Protection Society (MPS) said:
"There have been calls from across the profession for the GMC to be more transparent about the number of doctors who die while under investigation, and its reporting of the number of doctor suicides is a welcome step.
“Day in day out we see how investigation processes impact on the doctors’ mental health, alongside the effects on their family and career. Fitness to practise investigations often take several months - and sometimes years - to conclude. A hearing itself can last several days if not weeks, and press can attend and report on the case throughout which can create long term reputational damage and a sense of shame for the doctor. Consequently, the whole experience can be traumatic irrespective of the outcome.
“While the GMC has made improvements to its processes in recent years in order to reduce the impact of investigations on doctors, we believe there is still more to be done to ensure investigations are resolved quickly and sensitively. The GMC is however constrained by its current legal framework which was established nearly 40 years ago, and reform is long overdue.
“MPS’s multi-disciplinary team, which includes doctors and in-house lawyers are on-hand to support members in navigating the investigation processes and provide a robust legal defence. Members who experience work-related stress or stress that could affect their practice can also access our 24/7 confidential counselling service.”
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The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”) is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. Membership provides access to expert advice and support and can also provide, depending on the type of membership required, the right to request indemnity for any complaints or claims arising from professional practice.
Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.
Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.
MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.