MDU calls for fundamental reform to regulation as GMC outlines improvements

We respond to a GMC update about the work being done to ensure fair investigations.

Responding to today's update by the GMC about the work it is doing to ensure doctors undergoing an investigation are treated fairly and proportionately, Dr Caroline Fryar, Medical Defence Union (MDU) director of medical services, said:

Today marks the first anniversary of the publication by the GMC of the independent review into the case of Dr Manjula Arora. It is right that the GMC is taking the opportunity to reflect on the changes to its policies, guidance and processes in that time to try to learn from past mistakes.

"At the MDU, we witness first-hand the impact fitness to practise proceedings can have on doctors. Doctors should only be put through this process where it is necessary. Today's summary of the recent changes the GMC has made is positive news. A fairer, more proportionate, more timely regulatory process; that's what the MDU wants for doctors, and it is these standards that we measure any GMC reforms against. Only time will tell if the changes outlined will deliver this.

"This update demonstrates that, in response to feedback, the GMC can make changes to its procedures and systems. However, we urgently need more ambitious, fundamental reform. The government must introduce reforms to the GMC's legislation without further delay. This was promised in 2022, and doctors are still waiting.

"The MDU has been campaigning for reform to healthcare regulation. Doctors have waited long enough. As we await the King's Speech, it is time for the government to introduce that legislation."

This page was correct at publication on 02/11/2023. 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.