GMC affiliates 'improve handling of complaints'

Controversial plans to introduce GMC affiliates have had a boost after two pilot schemes were judged to be successful.

The affiliates, whose job was to support employers concerned about doctors' performance, significantly improved the 'efficiency and effectiveness' of complaints handling, according to accountants KPMG.

The firm evaluated one-year schemes in north and central London and west Yorkshire.

The affiliates worked in pairs, one an experienced fitness-to-practise GMC employee, the other a doctor.

CMO Sir Liam Donaldson angered doctors in 2006 when he said there should be a GMC affiliate in every PCT as part of the post-Shipman reforms.

But the model evaluated by KPMG spreads the affiliates more thinly, with 35 pairs covering England.

The affiliates 'greatly improved' the relationship between the GMC and medical directors and improved their knowledge of fitness-to-practise thresholds, KPMG reported.

They also helped to settle complaints against doctors more quickly.

But the model, a 'gold standard', could cost £7.4 million to roll out and £4.5 million a year to run. No one has decided who would pay for it.

The DoH and the GMC are now examining cheaper alternatives, dispensing with the medical affiliates or even scrapping the scheme altogether.

Dr Kailash Chand, chairman of NHS Tameside and Glossop and a GPC member, said that unless extra money has been identified to pay for the affiliates scheme, its success is 'neither here nor there'.

'If PCTs have to put money aside for this, it will affect patient services.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GPs place first orders from government flu jab reserve as £12m support fund rolled out

GPs place first orders from government flu jab reserve as £12m support fund rolled out

GP practices can start ordering flu vaccine from an 8m-dose government stockpile...

Quarter of government's 8m-dose flu stockpile is vaccine granted temporary approval

Quarter of government's 8m-dose flu stockpile is vaccine granted temporary approval

A vaccine yet to be licensed in the UK accounts for more than a quarter of the 8m...

GPs report drop in older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms

GPs report drop in older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms

More than half of GPs say numbers of older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms...

Failure to involve GPs in COVID-19 test and trace 'a disaster and a national shame'

Failure to involve GPs in COVID-19 test and trace 'a disaster and a national shame'

GPs and primary care teams should have played a key role in the UK’s efforts to test,...

RCGP chair 'livid' over attacks on general practice from 'armchair critics'

RCGP chair 'livid' over attacks on general practice from 'armchair critics'

General practice has risen 'heroically' to unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19...

Remote GP consultations a 'lifeline for the NHS' during pandemic, says Hancock

Remote GP consultations a 'lifeline for the NHS' during pandemic, says Hancock

The rapid switch to remote GP consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic provided...