There may come a time at some stage in a doctor’s career where concerns are raised about their performance. Any GP can contact the LMC office for a confidential discussion where concerns arise and are to be investigated by NHSE and/or GMC. The LMC team can offer support, advice and representation through the process.
PAG and PLDP
Within NHSE, Performance Advisory Groups (PAGs) and Performers Lists Decision Panels (PLDPs) are established in order to support its responsibility in managing the performance of GPs.
Managing concerns in line with NHS (Performers Lists) (England) Regulations 2013
PAG’s role is investigative and advisory. The group meets regularly and will consider concerns that are reported and updates on current cases.
Potential outcomes following a PAG meeting include that no action is needed, and a case will be closed, or it can be determined that an investigation is carried out to gather more information. The group may decide upon interventions and support required by a GP to address and resolve concerns identified.
NHSE will assign a point of contact for any GP whose case is being considered by PAG and all information will be emailed securely or posted. Terms of Reference will be written and shared for any investigations required and clinical investigation reports are sent to the GP for review and comment. We would encourage any GP under investigation to speak to their medical defense organisation and/or LMC for support.
If necessary, cases may be referred from PAG to PLDP for consideration of any action under the NHS (Performers Lists) (England) Regulations 2013. It may be determined that suspension from the Performers List is appropriate. This is a neutral act and there is provision in the regulations for payments to GPs who are suspended.
Fitness to practise
The GMC receive complaints and concerns which may be investigated if they raise issues about a doctor’s ability to practice safely or threaten public confidence in the profession. If a concern is raised to GMC about a GP that does not require investigation, details may still be shared for consideration as part of their ongoing appraisal and revalidation.
GPs are obliged to notify NHSE within 7 days if they are convicted of a criminal offence or if they are under investigation by the GMC, even though GMC is likely to inform NHSE – it is important to act swiftly in this regard.
GMC: Information for doctors under investigation
If an Interim Orders Panel (IOP) decision or investigation carried out by the GMC results in suspension from the GMC register, a GP must be removed from the Performers List and this may jeopardise payment to the GP. This does not apply to GPs suspended on the grounds of ill health.