Queen's speech reaction: GMC cannot improve GP regulation under current laws

The system for regulating doctors remains 'outdated and not fit for purpose', the GMC has warned after a proposed bill to reform the system was not mentioned during the Queen's speech.

Mr Dickson: 'A system everyone accepts is outdated and not fit for purpose.’
Mr Dickson: 'A system everyone accepts is outdated and not fit for purpose.’

Chief executive Niall Dickson said the GMC was ‘committed to introducing major reforms’ concerning how it regulated doctors, but it could not do this under current legislation.

Changes to the law – as recommended in the Regulation of Health and Social Care Professionals Bill – would allow it to ‘protect patients more effectively’ and ‘streamline and reduce the burden of regulation’.

Speaking in response to the Queen’s speech on Wednesday, he said: ‘We are deeply disappointed that the government has not taken this opportunity to improve patient safety by modernising the regulation of healthcare professionals.

‘The Mid-Staffordshire inquiry highlighted the vital importance of effective regulation focused on promoting safe, compassionate patient care, rather than, as too often in the past, intervening only after patients have been harmed.

‘In spite of all we have done to reform our services, the truth is that patients, professionals and the health service as a whole will now be left with a system everyone accepts is outdated and not fit for purpose.’

'Constrained' by current system

The GMC previously told GPOnline that it had struggled to triage complaints against doctors in a more effective manner due to ‘constraints’ of the current system.

‘I hope the government will make these reforms a priority and introduce legislation as soon as possible,’ Mr Dickson added.

‘If taken forward, the draft Bill by the Law Commissions of the UK would allow us to respond more quickly and effectively to protect patients and maintain the standards of good medical practice.

‘We do understand that the government wants to concentrate on the huge pressures on services and on front line professionals but we very much hope these important and long overdue reforms will be taken forward as soon as possible.’

GPs at the LMCs conference last week backed calls that the GMC needed to do more to protect and support doctors after hearing evidence that doctors under investigation by the regulator face a suicide risk 13 times higher than the general UK population.

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

Free resources on MIMS Learning keep GPs updated on COVID-19

Free resources on MIMS Learning keep GPs updated on COVID-19

MIMS Learning has a range of free resources for healthcare professionals helping...

Locum GP exodus to salaried roles as COVID-19 pandemic hits income

Locum GP exodus to salaried roles as COVID-19 pandemic hits income

As many as 1,000 GPs may have quit locum work to take up salaried positions since...

Flexibility over PCN recruitment cash extended in bid to boost staff this year

Flexibility over PCN recruitment cash extended in bid to boost staff this year

NHS chiefs have added 'nurse associates' to the list of roles PCNs can hire this...

Fellowship scheme offers £10,000 a year to support every new GP

Fellowship scheme offers £10,000 a year to support every new GP

A two-year GP fellowship scheme promised in the 2020/21 GP contract deal will offer...

NHS chiefs warned not to underestimate pressure on GPs as figures show sharp rise in workload

NHS chiefs warned not to underestimate pressure on GPs as figures show sharp rise in workload

GP workload has surged sharply in recent months, official data show, underscoring...

Call for 'decisive action' to halt decline in GP continuity of care

Call for 'decisive action' to halt decline in GP continuity of care

Researchers have called for 'decisive action' to reverse declining continuity of...