Today's report by the GMC reveals that of the 29 doctors who sadly died during a GMC investigation or period of monitoring between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2020, five died by suicide.
Dr Caroline Fryar, head of advisory services at the MDU, said:
"Today’s report makes for sombre reading. Members tell us time and again that undergoing a GMC investigation is one of the most difficult experiences of their professional lives. To learn that over a period of three years, five doctors died by suicide while they were involved in the process is truly heart-breaking. Our first thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues.
"We welcome the publication of today’s report, and its commitment to publish three-year rolling data on an annual basis. This transparency is welcome.
"We work closely with the GMC to communicate the doctors’ perspective of GMC investigations, as we want to ensure that lessons are learnt, and improvements made. We recognise that the GMC is not complacent, and rightly so. The investigation process in many instances still takes far too long and compounds the stress for doctors.
"The government has committed to shortly bringing forward legislation to fundamentally reform the GMC – including the fitness to practise process. Today’s report is a further reminder why that reform is urgently needed, so the GMC can take a more flexible and responsive approach. We urge the government to deliver that legislative change without delay."
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This page was correct at publication on 03/03/2022. 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.