High standards upheld during pandemic year

The General Medical Council met all the standards of good regulation while taking a more flexible approach to support doctors during the pandemic, an independent review has found.

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) performance review for 2019/20 confirmed the GMC met the standards of good practice against all 18 measures, including in education, registration and fitness to practise. This year’s report looked at several new areas, including how the GMC promoted equality, diversity and inclusion, worked with others in the healthcare system and considered the context professionals were working in

The report praised efforts to keep doctors informed with advice on concerns borne out of the crisis, including the rise of remote consultations.

It also recognised the value of new guidance to make sure pandemic pressures were considered by staff when reviewing complaints. The report also recognised/praised/acknowledged the work that the GMC had done to make more doctors available to support the healthcare system through the pandemic. Last year the GMC gave temporary registration or licences to about 30,000 doctors under its emergency legislation in April. Teams also managed 21,213 new registration applications during the review period, up 16% from the previous year.

Charlie Massey, GMC Chief Executive said:
‘Good regulation is crucial at a time when doctors are under tremendous pressure caring for patients.

‘It’s pleasing to see our work recognised as we continue to act to promote patient safety and support hard-working professionals. I’m extremely grateful to all of my colleagues for their hard work despite often working in very difficult circumstances.

‘The impact of this pandemic will last for many years. The GMC is supporting recovery in the NHS, and is working with other healthcare bodies to make sure that we also embrace any opportunities that will help meet the demands of modern patient care.

‘Our vision is rooted in the people we work with and for. We will be an effective, relevant and compassionate regulator for patients, the public and professionals, and as an employer.’