Your health matters
We’ve launched a new website to explain how we work with doctors to support their recovery if their health is affecting their work as a doctor.
Many doctors going through our fitness to practise procedures do so because a health problem has got out of control. Wherever possible, we try to support their recovery and put in place interim measures to protect patients while they receive treatment.
Our new website explains how we decide what, if any, measures are needed to protect patients and how we support doctors’ recovery. It includes case studies, explanations of who will be involved and sources of advice and support. For example, we make sure that doctors have an independent mentor who can give them confidential advice and support throughout – the mentor is not connected to the GMC in any way.
We know it will always be distressing for a doctor to have their fitness to practise questioned by the regulator, especially if they are already dealing with problems with their health. But we hope that making process clear and explaining the support available we can help to minimise this as far as possible.
‘When a doctor is referred to the GMC it can be one of the most stressful and painful times of their lives and, for many, can lead to long periods of anxiety and depression,’ said Dr Clare Gerada, the Medical Director of Practitioner Health Programme and Chair of the Royal College of GPs.
‘Doctors need to be supported as the GMC process unfolds. This information provides the first step in this support, helping to provide timely information for doctors who may for health reasons be involved in the GMC's fitness to practise procedures.’
Visit the site
How we developed the site
We tested the website with doctors both with health conditions that have affected their practice and without, and with key representatives of doctors including the BMA, Practitioner Health Programme and the Doctors’ Support Network.
We are also carrying out research to assess whether our procedures for doctors with health concerns are striking the right balance. And we’re developing new guidance to help staff considering whether or not to launch an investigation when dealing with a doctor who is suspected of having a health problem that is affecting their practice.
Tell us what you think
We’d really like your feedback on this resource and what more we can do to support doctors with health conditions while protecting patients.
Please send your views to firstname.lastname@example.org.