Dear colleague,

This week’s BMA vote on the revised contract for doctors in training in England has confirmed that a great many of them continue to have concerns about the proposals, and the real depth of feeling of those involved.

This dispute has highlighted a series of other deep-seated issues which require urgent attention.

The GMC recognises those concerns. However, I hope that all parties will seek to resolve outstanding issues through constructive discussion and without further disruption to patients. It is important that the UK Government continues to look at how they can improve the lives of doctors in training and I welcome in particular efforts to seek to end the gender pay gap in the medical profession.

This dispute has highlighted a series of other deep-seated issues, such as gaps in rotas and the inflexible nature of the way doctors are trained, which require urgent attention – not just by governments across the UK, but by the profession itself and by those of us responsible for doctors’ education and training.

Considering the impact of the EU referendum result on medical regulation in the UK

There is much uncertainty just now. Following the other referendum vote, in favour of the UK leaving the EU, there is understandable anxiety among doctors and other healthcare staff who have come from other parts of the European Economic Area (the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).

We understand that the vote to leave the EU should not have any impact on the registration status of any doctor already on the register.

Although withdrawing from Europe will inevitably have implications for the way we regulate doctors, we understand that the vote to leave the EU should not have any impact on the registration status of any doctor already on the register.

Comings and goings: Doctors gaining and giving up a UK licence to practise during 2010-13
Comings and goings: Doctors gaining and giving up a UK licence to practise during 2010-13

We will also be seeking to address how in future doctors from the EEA will access the UK medical register, how we and other countries can share information about doctors to maintain the integrity of the register, and what the implications are for UK doctors who wish to work in Europe once the UK is no longer a member state.

Doctors from the rest of Europe have made and continue to make a vital contribution to the UK’s health services and to the medical research for which this country is held in high esteem.

The answers will of course depend on the outcome of the UK’s negotiations about our future relationship with the EU. However one thing is clear – doctors from the rest of Europe have made and continue to make a vital contribution to the UK’s health services and to the medical research for which this country is held in high esteem.

There are around 19,000 doctors from the EEA working in the UK, around 8% of doctors licensed to practise here.

There are around 19,000 doctors from the EEA working in the UK, around 8% of doctors licensed to practise here.

Our priority, as ever, will be to make sure that we can provide robust protection to UK patients and accurate, helpful and up to date information for doctors. We will keep you updated as matters develop, and we will work with you to make sure this profession remains one of which we can all be proud.

Professor-Terence-Stephenson

 

Professor Terence Stephenson 
Chair of the General Medical Council