GMC report about doctors working under pressure makes for sobering reading, says MDU

The number of complaints made to the GMC has fallen over the past five years.

Responding to today's publication of the GMC's report, The state of medical education and practice in the UK, MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Udvitha Nandasoma said:

'The latest report from the GMC on the state of medical education and practice makes for sobering reading. The fact that over a quarter of doctors reported feeling unable to cope with their workload at least once a week, and that many colleagues - particularly GPs - are at risk of burnout, will sadly not come as a surprise to the profession.

'It is encouraging to see the GMC recognises the pressures doctors face. It is vital that the GMC also considers these pressures when investigating complaints about doctors. We are pleased that the number of complaints made to the GMC has fallen over the past five years, but do not underestimate the shock for members informed of an investigation.

'At the MDU we are only too aware of the high levels of stress under which our members work in a stretched NHS system. We welcome the GMC's positive suggestions within the report, including the need to better match workforce supply and patient demand, increased flexibility in training and working patterns and a focus on doctor wellbeing and workplace culture. We are exploring with the GMC and others ways to bring about these necessary changes.

'The need to work from time to time in conditions that are less than ideal will inevitably pose medico-legal risks for doctors and they can turn to the MDU for support. Medico-legal advice is available to our members 24-hours a day through our advisory helpline.'

This guidance was correct at publication 18/12/2019. It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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