A gentler attitude to gripes in pandemic

How will the GMC deal with complaints about your practice during the pandemic? Solicitor and doctor Tania Francis examines the latest guidance.

The GMC issues guidance to its decision-makers which they should follow when making decisions about how complaints about doctors should be dealt with. For example, there is guidance about how to deal with concerns about a doctor’s health or doctors who self-prescribe or doctors who have criminal convictions or cautions. 

It has now published guidance for decision-makers on how to assess the risk posed by a doctor in relation to allegations of impaired fitness to practise in a clinical setting during the Covid-19 pandemic. See www.gmc-uk.org/-/media/documents/dc13028-guidance-for-decision-makers-on-covid-19–external-version-_pdf-83985701.pdf 

In early March 2020, a number of the health regulators – including the GMC – issued a joint statement about regulation in the pandemic. 

In this statement, they recognised that professionals might need to depart from established procedures and sought to reassure registrants that concerns would always be considered on the specific facts of the case, taking into accounts the environment in which they were working and any relevant information about resources, guidelines or protocols in place at the time.