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:
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