GMC campaign to tackle bias in its work

  • Date: 21 February 2023

A NUMBER of changes are being made to reduce the risk of bias in the way the General Medical Council operates.

The regulator has committed to implementing 23 recommended actions this year in a bid to make its decision-making processes fairer.

Moves include introducing a single set of decision-making principles to increase consistency across the organisation, as well as more personalised staff training in equality, diversity and inclusion. The regulator will also publish more detailed data about its fitness to practise processes.

The changes follow a “complex and collaborative” internal review which saw 900 staff contributing to surveys, focus groups, team meetings and one-to-one interviews.

The internal review was prompted by an independent learning review into the GMC’s handling of the case of a doctor who faced sanctions, later overturned, after claims she had been dishonest in attempting to obtain a laptop from her employer. The GMC later apologised to the doctor over its handling of her case.

A key recommendation of the independent review, co-chaired by Professor Iqbal Singh and Martin Forde KC, was for the GMC to actively seek out and address any potential bias in its processes.

GMC chief executive Charlie Massey said: “A degree of bias is inherent in human nature, and so a fundamental principle of our approach is to look for the risk of bias and to assess the controls we have in place to manage it. The recommendations in [the GMC’s internal] report are key to that.”

The GMC said that some of the changes are already being implemented, with the rest to be progressed in the coming months. 

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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