Hospital Dr News

Tell the GMC exactly what you think of it

Almost 7,000 doctors are being asked for their views on the General Medical Council (GMC) to help gain a greater understanding of their perceptions of the medical regulator.

The survey, starting this week, is part of a new piece of research examining whether doctors think the GMC is regulating in a fair and objective way and whether doctors from different backgrounds have different views of the GMC’s fairness and objectivity.

The results will help inform the GMC’s work to ensure it continues to apply its standards consistently, and makes decisions that are fair to everyone regardless of their background.

The research builds on last year’s ‘Being Fair’ conference where the GMC brought together healthcare leaders from across the UK to explore the challenge of fostering greater fairness in their work.

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), an independent agency, has been commissioned by the GMC to undertake the research. The doctors participating are drawn from an anonymous sample of doctors on the register. They will be able to give their views on how fair they think the GMC is in the following areas:

· The processes for getting on the register.

· The implementation of revalidation.

· Dealing with concerns about doctors through its fitness to practice procedures.

Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the GMC, said: “As an organisation we are committed to listening and improving what we do. We know that we can be controversial at times and that we must do more to understand concerns about the work we do.

“A year ago we held our first ‘Fairness’ conference bringing together leaders from across healthcare. We made a number of commitments at that event including obtaining better data, which is why we are keen to hear from doctors to understand the factors that influence their perceptions of the GMC. This will help us ensure that we are regulating as fairly and objectively as we can. This feedback will also to help to make sure we apply our standards consistently and address any concerns that doctors raise through the survey.”

The GMC has an extensive programme of work underway to ensure that it is being fair in its work.

This includes working with its Black and Minority Ethnic Doctors Forum which brings together representatives of the main associations of BME doctors in the UK; auditing the outcomes from each stage of its fitness to practice activities; reviewing the routes on to the registers; working with partners to ensure that all doctors have a chance to revalidate; producing guidance for medical schools on making reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities; and providing bespoke training to its staff and associates to help them to identify and address the equality and diversity issues that arise from their work.

The survey will last for eight weeks and the results will be published early next year.

Click here for more on the GMC’s approach to equality and diversity.

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