News that the GMC is deploying 15 new Regional Officers to identify underperforming Doctors at an earlier stage is welcome. This is an attempt to take a proactive approach to Healthcare rather than simply reacting after the event where serious problems have arisen.
With the Health Service becoming increasingly fragmented, there is a danger of accountability lacking. Once of the tasks of the Officers will be to liaise with both NHS bodies and companies employing Doctors to uncover problems before patients suffer harm.
The GMC hope their Regional Officers will highlight local and regional variations in the quality of care. They also hope to identify GP’s who may not be up to speed with current practice. Recent statistics show that the average length of suspension for GP’s whose fitness to practice is in question is longer than for hospital Doctors – suggesting where concerns arise in Primary Care they are more serious. They also suggest that GP’s trained outside the UK are more likely to face disciplinary action than those trained here. This issue was highlighted by a recent well-publicised case in which mistakes by an out-of-hours Doctor trained in India led to a retired patient needing a right leg Amputation.
Whilst most of our Healthcare is of a high quality and many of us have every confidence in our GP’s, Primary Care is an area where mistakes can be devastating. Working with people who have suffered serious harm from Negligent mistakes in Primary Care I am only too aware of the importance of identifying possible problems before they cause harm for the benefit of everyone - both patients and GP’s.Our Clinical Negligence Lawyers are experts in Clinical & Medical Negligence Claims. Please call 0800 916 9049, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the short online enquiry form. Our dedicated Medical Negligence Solicitors will be able to offer you a free initial consultation.