GMC workforce report should focus minds on regulatory reform, says MDU

Top to bottom regulatory reform is needed to improve retention.

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) is calling on the government and the GMC to renew their focus on compassionate regulation, as the regulator's latest workforce report is published.

The MDU, the UK's leading medical defence organisation, made the call in response to today's publication of the GMC's 'State of medical education and practice' in the UK. The report highlights that burnout, stress, lack of flexible working arrangements and poor organisational and team cultures were repeatedly cited by doctors as reasons for leaving the profession.

Dr Caroline Fryar, MDU director of medical services, said:

"With patients facing unprecedented waits for treatment, it is paramount that more is done to improve retention. We are interested to hear the suggestions raised by the GMC such as creating better career pathways for doctors in non-training roles, many of whom are international medical graduates (IMGs). It is vital that IMGs are given proper induction and support.

"Another part of the picture in improving retention is the need for government to do more to support an exhausted medical workforce. Doctors are working flat out to care for patients, in many cases to the detriment of their own health and wellbeing. If, on top of this, they then face scrutiny by their regulator, the GMC, it can be truly devastating for them.

"Earlier this month, we called on the government to prioritise legislation to bring about top to bottom reform of GMC regulation. The legislation needed to modernise regulation was due to be introduced this year and was then delayed. If we want to retain doctors in the medical profession, they need reassurance that the regulatory system is proportionate, timely and fair. Regulatory reform needs to be a top priority again."

This page was correct at publication on 18/10/2022. Any guidance 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.