In a personal statement Professor Dame Carrie MacEwen, the acting chair of the GMC, said: “We know that the environment in which a doctor practises has a material impact on the care they provide. In the fluid and unpredictable context of a pandemic, this link is especially acute.
“That’s why I want to reassure you that any concern raised about a doctor over this time will take into account the extraordinary circumstances we are, and have been, living through.”
Commenting, Dr Naeem Nazem, head of the medical division at MDDUS, said:
“We must ensure clinicians have peace of mind that they will be treated fairly in the case of a complaint or regulatory process relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our members worked for more than 18 months under unprecedented pressure, and they must not be left exposed, especially if as we suspect we only begin to see complaints surfacing two or three years after the pandemic when the reality of the crisis it created has dulled.
“It is very welcome to hear Dame Carrie issue a personal assurance to doctors that the GMC will consider all the pressures and stresses they encountered in answering the call to tackle Covid-19 in the event of a regulatory process.
“At MDDUS we are keenly aware of the ongoing impact the pandemic has had on our members’ mental health and wellbeing. We have recently introduced a free and confidential support service known as ‘YourHalo: Emotional wellbeing’. It’s available to our members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”