The General Medical Council (GMC) has held a major consultation into the way GPs are dealt with once the care they provide puts patients at risk or causes them harm.
The consultation received more than two thousand responses from patients, doctors and other healthcare professionals.
There was support for striking GPs off the register where there was evidence of predatory behaviour. 78% of responses were in favour for serious action to be taken where patients had been put at risk by the behaviour of the GP. 61% stated that where a GP had discriminated against a patient the GP should face stronger disciplinary action.
The response to this consultation will be used to update guidance given to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS). This guidance will assist the MPTS in deciding appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against GPs when they have put a patient at risk or they have placed the reputation of the medical profession at risk.
Further the GMC has also said that they will use the guidance to assist in making the decision as to whether to refer a GP to the MPTS for further investigation.
Niall Dickson, Chief Executive if the GMC, states that the response to the consultation will help in them producing “better guidance to protect patients and uphold public confidence in the good doctors who are providing effective, compassionate and safe care”.
One of the major outcomes of the consultation was that most responses felt that providing an apology to any patients wronged was extremely important. The consultation went on to state that whether or not a GP apologises for their actions will affect their sanction when it comes to any disciplinary action taken.
It is hoped that this updated guidance will ensure that GPs are dealt with accordingly and that patients who are put at risk and harmed by the medical practitioners who should help them at least receive an apology for the harm caused to them.