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MPS comment on Government’s response to Sir Norman Williams Review of Gross Negligence Manslaughter in healthcare

Post date: 20/06/2018 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 14/11/2018

Commenting following the Government’s response to Sir Norman Williams Review of Gross Negligence Manslaughter in healthcare, Dr Pallavi Bradshaw, Education Services Lead at MPS said:

“The Medical Protection Society (MPS) welcomes the Secretary of State’s full acceptance of the recommendations put forward by Sir Norman Williams.

“Since the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) was created, we have consistently argued that the General Medical Council (GMC) should not have the power to appeal decisions by the tribunal service. This power is both detrimental to the interests of healthcare professionals and unnecessary – as the Professional Standards Authority already has the authority to appeal decisions made by the MPTS and also by all other healthcare professional regulators.

“The removal of the GMC’s right to appeal was a central recommendation in our submission to the review. Doctors appearing before the MPTS would have cause for greater confidence that the tribunal and the GMC are moving further towards being separate, independent entities. This is good news for the profession.

“MPS has always called for doctors to be honest and open when mistakes occur, typically through reflective material. It is another positive recommendation by Sir Norman Williams to reform the law so the GMC’s power to require information from registrants is modified to exclude reflective material.

“It is right that this power is removed, so doctors can be more confident about their personal reflections. More clarity is needed on how we can achieve proper legal protection for doctors written reflections in all investigations.

“We want to see a culture that promotes and supports openness and learning from mistakes. The unintended consequences of a greater number of criminal sanctions, creates fear and may stunt the open, learning culture we all want to see. The implementation of the reviews’ recommendations will be a very positive step in the right direction”.


Notes to editors

The Medical Protection Society has opposed the GMC power to appeal the MPTS since 2014. Our previous submissions are available here:

For further information or for copies of MPS consultation responses, contact: or call (+44) (0)207 640 5183

About MPS

The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”) is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. Membership provides access to expert advice and support together with the right to request indemnity for complaints or claims arising from professional practice.  

Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.

Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.

MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

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