MPS response to changes to GMC fitness to practise rules
09 Aug 2012
The GMC is consulting has been consulting on proposed changes to its fitness to practise rules and to the rules around the constitution of panels and Investigation Committees.
We have been critical of many of the proposed changes as unduly restrictive on the rights of registrants and that some would not provide a sufficient degree of separation between the investigation of a case and the adjudication of it.
We have disagreed with:
- The removal of the requirement for written allegations to be read out at the start of a hearing
- Routinely accepting written witness statements as evidence-in-chief
- The removal of the requirement on the GMC to particularise an allegation at an interim orders panel hearing (allowing them to only ‘inform’ the doctor of the allegations)
- Allowing case examiners to decide whether or not to cancel an allegation that has been referred to a hearing
- The removal of the right to make submissions on whether or not impairment can be proved at the start of a fitness to practise hearing
- Removal of the discretion of the Investigation Committee to hear oral evidence if it considers it desirable and its replacement with a criterion of ‘necessary for the panel to make a decision’
- The non-disclosure to doctors of complaints against them closed at the initial assessment stage
- The notion that Chairs should be involved in case management (unless there are safeguards that they would not sit on fitness to practise panels for the same cases)
- The removal of the criminal evidence standard for judging what evidence is fair and relevant to the case.
Read our full response to this consultation >>