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End rules stopping thousands of doctors working in GP surgeries, says GMC chief

Thousands of doctors are being prevented from working in overstretched GP surgeries across the UK because of unnecessary “red tape”, leaving NHS patients experiencing “unprecedented” waits for care, the head of the doctors’ regulator in the UK has said.

Charlie Massey, the chief executive of the General Medical Council, said barriers that stopped medics from being deployed to meet areas of high demand, such as in primary care, must be removed urgently if the NHS workforce crisis was to be resolved and access to care improved.

“Red tape is stopping the UK from making the most of many of its skilled and experienced doctors,” he said. “Without action, patients will suffer.”

The regulator will on Tuesday call for a relaxation of rules so the fastest-growing part of the medical workforce – skilled doctors in non-training roles – can undertake a wider range of work beyond hospitals, such as in GP surgeries.

“There are no easy answers to the challenges facing the NHS. There is no army of new doctors coming over the horizon, so part of the solution must be to make sure that we have more doctors in the places that patients need them,” Massey said.

“The government should make a start immediately by changing the performers list criteria so more doctors are allowed to work alongside GPs. That needs to be done urgently.

“But beyond technical changes there is also a need for fresh thinking in the way our health services are structured and in how teams of health professionals work together. We can’t keep doing things the same way they have always been done, or nothing will change."

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Source: BBC News, 18 October 2022


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