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GMC issues warning over impact of winter pressures

Regulator seeks doctors’ warnings over patient safety

Adrian O'Dowd

Friday, 13 January 2017

Doctors’ regulator the General Medical Council (GMC) is asking clinicians to report any concerns they have over patient safety being effected due to the growing winter pressures on the NHS.

The GMC has taken the unusual step of raising its concerns over what the currently extreme pressures on the health service may be doing to patient care and how these are impacting on doctors’ performance.

Although the regulator is trying to steer clear of the politics around levels of funding for the NHS, it has conceded that current pressures on services are giving it cause for concern and doctors have been contacting it with their fears.

The GMC said that as the body which oversaw medical education and training across the UK, it was “concerned by what doctors are telling us”.

Charlie Massey, GMC chief executive, said: “We know that medical staff across the UK are doing their utmost to maintain standards of care for patients, but they are telling us that there is unprecedented demand on services and concerted action is now needed to address this.

“As the body which oversees medical education and training across the UK, we are concerned by what doctors are telling us.

“We have no role in determining how taxpayers’ money should be spent in the health service, but we do have a responsibility to ensure hospitals are a safe training environment for doctors and patients, and we will act where we receive firm evidence that this is not happening.

“We would urge all doctors to raise and report concerns about patient safety and we expect those responsible for running services to listen and respond to those concerns.”

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