The GMC said changes to its triaging guidance will have a positive impact on the cohort of doctors over-represented in the FTP process.

We recently report that GMC lowered ‘violence and dishonesty’ threshold for doctors in revised triage guidance.

In the same report to the GMC’s Executive Board, the GMC acknowledged that male doctors, BME doctors and doctors over 50 are generally over-represented in the FTP process.

It said however that “the proposed changes will reduce the number of cases promoted to an investigation or referred to a tribunal hearing and enable us to take a more proportionate approach to cases of low level violence or dishonesty, we anticipate that will have a positive impact on the affected cohort of doctors.”

GMC analysis shows that doctors that will be impacted by these changes most are those that are over-represented in GMC fitness to practise cases.  Doctors in the affected cohort were:

  1. three times as likely to be men;
  2. 54% of the doctors in the affected cohort were under 50 years old;
  3. 52% of the doctors in the affected cohort identified as BME and 35% as white.

      Changes to decision making guidance

      The GMC has introduced revised guidance for decision makers at triage (including provisional enquiries) to support them in considering the risk posed by doctors in cases involving low level violence and dishonesty outside the doctor’s professional practice.

      The guidance sets out that allegations of violence and dishonesty outside a doctor’s professional practice are unlikely to raise a question of impaired fitness to practise, and therefore require a full investigation, where the conduct that gives rise to such allegations:

      • is minor in nature; and
      • occurred outside the doctor’s professional practice; and
      • was investigated by the police or another relevant body, such as the doctor’s employer.

      Cases that meet the above criteria will be closed with no further action.

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