MDU backs calls for urgent reform of healthcare regulators and how they will regulate health and care professionals post-Covid.

Speaking about the PSA’s Learning from Covid-19 report, Dr Matthew Lee, MDU professional services director said:

“Medical professionals have waited a long time to see the GMC reformed. We agree with the PSA that the pandemic has highlighted the need for that reform to be delivered at pace. This cannot be delayed any longer.

“While the GMC has adapted fitness to practise and other processes they are constrained by outdated legislation. The government is now consulting on detailed proposals to reform the GMC and has committed to introduce legislation later this year which will be in force by early 2022. The government must stick to this timetable.

“Today’s report from the PSA notes that organisations like the MDU have been concerned about the prolonged process of reform. We have been calling for regulatory reform for many years. We now have concrete proposals and a commitment to deliver reform for GMC processes within the next 12 months, which is very welcome. However we do not want to see reforms carved up across different bits of legislation and delivered in a fragmented way.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown healthcare professionals at their best. It is now time to get on with the job of reforming their regulators.”

The PSA’s report concluded that the Covid 19 crisis reinforced the urgent need for regulatory reform.

‘Unavoidable’ stress for doctors

Pulse Today reported that the PSA report noted that the backlog in hearings, including GMC hearings, caused by lockdown will create ‘unavoidable’ stress for doctors facing investigation with some cases potentially being ‘impossible’ to resolve.

The GMC said:

“We know that going through an investigation can be stressful for doctors and we have committed throughout the pandemic to taking a proportionate approach to cases which balances public protection with the wellbeing of all involved.

“We continue to work closely with the [GMC’s] Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service to progress cases as swiftly as possible within current Covid guidelines, using a combination of virtual and in-person hearings.”


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