COMMENTING on GMC research looking into the impact of doctors’ engagement with the tribunals process, Chris Kenny, CEO of MDDUS, said: "This report underlines how important it is for doctors to be members of a medical defence organisation - even after the introduction of state-backed indemnity in England and Wales, which does not cover support for matters such as GMC referrals.
"We believe it strengthens our call for the GMC to prescribe MDO membership, or equivalent arrangements, as a regulatory requirement across the board."
Mr Kenny went on: "This report highlights how going it alone can lead to worse outcomes for doctors. A doctor who is subject to a GMC investigation should engage their MDO immediately.
"The advice we give to all our members is, call us early and seek advice before any potential problem escalates.
"The MDDUS’s medico-legal advisory team provides prompt support and representation in circumstances such as this, including assigning a specific medical adviser and experienced solicitor.
"With the backing of their medical defence organisation, doctors don’t have to cope with difficult and stressful situations on their own. This report illustrates the tangible benefits to doctors of seeking expert advice early and remaining engaged in the process."