Call for GMC warning to be scrapped

GMC warnings to doctors who stray from its guidance should be scrapped, according to defence body the Medical Defence Union.

It said such warnings can have serious consequences for doctors, even though they are meant to be a low-level sanction.

Catherine Wills 4 webThe union’s Dr Catherine Wills (right) said: ‘Many employers, contracting bodies and other organisations providing medical services do not understand the intended impact of warnings and assume they are an indication of serious concerns, which they are not.

‘Doctors’ careers can be adversely affected as a result and we don’t think this was what was originally intended.’

The MDU criticised other proposed changes to sanctions guidance, including that fitness-to-practise panels should automatically consider serious action for failures to comply with certain aspects of GMC guidance.

These include failure to raise concerns, bullying, sexual harassment or discriminating against patients. Dr Wills said each case must be judged on its merits.