GMC - Working together to address inequalities

Tue, 18th May 2021

For the attention of the Chair of the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans

I’m writing to update you on the steps we’re taking, through our new corporate strategy, to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in our own processes, and achieve positive outcomes for the diverse groups we work with and for. Our plans are grounded in the extensive research and independent reviews we’ve commissioned in recent years; and they’ll help build momentum on the initiatives that your organisation, and many others, are already leading to address persistent inequalities across healthcare. 

You can read our press release and more information on our embargoed webpage. I’d be grateful if you didn’t share this more widely until 18 May.

Holding ourselves to account

Our Council have agreed that we should introduce new targets to hold ourselves accountable for change. We’ll focus on areas where we’ve seen sustained evidence of inequality over time, to:

  • eliminate disproportionate fitness to practise referrals from employers, in relation to ethnicity and primary medical qualification, by 2026
  • eliminate discrimination, disadvantage and unfairness in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and training, by 2031

We’ll show our progress in each of these areas every year, through our annual report and other publications, such as The state of medical education and practice in the UK.

These are complex issues. But there is strong evidence that inclusive and supportive working and training environments have fairer outcomes and don’t experience sustained differentials in these areas. Setting targets is the right and fair thing to do for those who face these challenges throughout their careers. It’s also vital so we can retain the doctors we have in our health services, and to support high quality patient care.

Working together to deliver change  

These targets are ambitious and achieving them will require real commitment from us and from partner organisations across the UK. We hope we can count on your support, to continue our work together to deliver these important changes. And we’ll offer data, insight and practical tools to those who are working to tackle disproportionality and create supportive environments for all doctors, across all protected characteristics, grades and specialties.

We’re also taking action to improve diversity in our own organisation, by increasing progression and representation of ethnic minority colleagues at all levels, and by addressing the gender and ethnicity pay gap.

I hope you’ve found this update helpful but if you have any questions or would like to discuss opportunities for collaboration, please contact Claire Light, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (

Thank you for all your ongoing efforts to support the profession and patient care at what continues to be a difficult time for so many.

Kind regards,

Charlie Massey

Chief Executive and Registrar 
General Medical Council
350 Euston Road
London NW1 3JN