Two pilot schemes have been launched by the General Medical Council (GMC) to advance Fitness to Practice Cases and lessen their effect on medical professional.
One of the pilots scheme will include cases where doctors are suspected of making a mistake including poor clinical care. The GMC will not immediately open a full inquiry into the cases instead it will first collect pieces of key information about the cases such as incident reports and medical records. In the first investigation if the evidence shows that it was one-off mistake and doctor is taking action to make sure that it won’t happen again then the case can be closed. If not then a full investigation will be open by the GMC or refer the case to the doctor’s Responsible Officer.
In a year about 230 cases is expected to avoid the need of full investigation by the pilot as well as considerably increase the speed with which the cases are handle.
The GMC second pilot scheme is one of the recommendations of Sir Anthony Hooper’s review of how the GMC handles whistle-blowers. It will require designated body such as healthcare providers to reveal whether the doctors being complained about has previously raised patient safety issues or not.
The person who is signifying the concern will also need to make a declaration that in a good faith the complaint is made and the steps have been taken to confirm that it is fair-minded and correct.
The pilot scheme will help the GMC to consider whether a full investigation should be carried out or not. It will also help to lower the risk of doctors who have appeared as whistle-blowers.
Outgoing Chief Executive of the GMC, Niall Dickson said that great pressure on doctor engage can be place by the GMC investigation. These pilots are the newest in sequence of proposals to decrease the pressure and make the entire process quicker while making sure that they are fair and GMC safeguard patients.