THE GMC has announced that it will reduce the number of full investigations into one-off mistakes by doctors – known as single clinical incidents – after a successful two-year pilot scheme.
In the trial scheme, information was gathered quickly, following a complaint or referral, to assess if there was any ongoing risk to patients, and before deciding if full investigations were required.
Concerns that can be considered single clinical incidents are those that involve a single instance of treatment to one patient. More than 200 single clinical incident cases were closed during the pilot after the additional information, such as medical records and input from independent experts, doctors’ responsible officers and the doctors themselves, was considered at an early stage.
MDDUS welcomes the move, with medical adviser Dr Naeem Nazem commenting: "Being on the receiving end of a GMC complaint is extremely stressful and it is natural for doctors to fear the worst. While it is understandable to worry, in our experience very few GMC cases make it beyond the preliminary stages of investigation.
"MDDUS urges all doctors who receive a letter of complaint from the GMC to contact their defence organisation without delay for further guidance and support.
"Our team of medical advisers and lawyers have vast experience in assisting doctors through the process of being under investigation. Doctors are renowned for being resilient, but should not face the stresses of a GMC complaint on their own."
Assistance with GMC investigations is just one of the many things not included as part of the new government state-backed indemnity schemes. MDDUS provides GP members in England and Wales with a new membership product that maintains their comprehensive protection and provides a range of essential benefits. Find out more.