GMC or GDC letter – don’t act alone

IF there is one thing that is likely to raise stress levels for doctors and dentists, it is the arrival of an official letter from the GMC or GDC.

There are various reasons why a regulator might get in touch, but the one most likely to cause anxiety is notification that a complaint has been made against you. Allegations may have been made about your professional conduct or clinical competency and the GMC or GDC may invite you to respond to these allegations.

In these circumstances, doctors and dentists should not be tempted to formulate a response on their own. You should contact an MDDUS adviser without delay as timescales can be tight. Correspondence at such an early stage in the complaints process may not seem significant, but it is important to remember that anything you write or say to the GMC or GDC may ultimately end up before a fitness to practise panel or investigating committee.

Contacting MDDUS will allow a medico- or dento-legal adviser to offer appropriate legal advice from the start about how to reply. In some cases, it may even be necessary for MDDUS to instruct a solicitor to draft a response on a member’s behalf. A trawl through MDDUS files highlights numerous instances where members have not taken advice on how to respond to the GMC or GDC and their response has gone on to have a negative impact on their case.

So don’t act alone.