Investigations are continuing into doctors’ conduct

TWO doctors are still awaiting the outcome of General Medical Council investigations more than a year after they began because of delays caused by the pandemic.

Image by Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. (29513705)
Image by Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. (29513705)

An annual report has been released which summarises the regulation and revalidation of doctors in the island.

At the end of 2020 there were 249 doctors on the Bailiwick register with a licence to practice.

Of these, 149 were local practitioners and 100 were UK-connected, which includes locums.

Three local doctors began the year with ongoing GMC investigations from 2019.

One, Dr Greg Lydall, was removed from the medical register, but two other cases remain open. There is another open GMC case involving a doctor who was in Guernsey at the time of initial concerns being raised, but who is no longer on the local register.

‘The pandemic resulted in delays to the work of the MPTS [General Medical Council and Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service],’ said Dr Peter Rabey, the island’s responsible officer, who produced the report.

‘In addition, the GMC issued a formal warning to a local doctor in 2020, following a conviction and fine imposed in relation to a planning application.

‘A warning is in the public domain at the GMC website and remains on the doctor’s record for two years.’

Covid-19 also meant that the process for revalidating doctors was changed for the year.

‘The Covid-19 pandemic had a major impact on the delivery of services in 2020 and regulatory bodies made adjustments to prioritise delivery of front line services,’ he said.

‘Doctors in the Bailiwick were directly involved in providing front line services, and all were affected by lockdown, travel restrictions, and other aspects of the pandemic. It is a credit to their professionalism that engagement with appraisal and revalidation remained outstanding.’

The GMC delayed revalidation dates and also took emergency measures to re-register doctors who had recently left the medical register on a temporary basis to support efforts to tackle the pandemic.

A total of 31 doctors with local addresses were re-registered by the GMC during the pandemic. One continues to take an active part in providing Covid-related services in the Public Health team.

A total of 60 doctors were revalidated in 2020.

‘The great majority of off-island appraisals in 2020 were conducted remotely using applications such as Teams. Feedback was positive and it is likely that this will continue in most cases even when travel is unrestricted in future,’ said Dr Rabey.

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