Medical Protection Society (MPS) says it remains deeply concerned and frustrated that the GMC maintains its power to appeal Fitness to Practise decisions, despite the Government’s ongoing commitment to removing it.
In its response to the Professional Standards Authority’s (PSA) annual review of the regulator, MPS says more urgent action is needed, through a “simple and swift legislative measure”.
MPS has long argued that the GMC should not have the power to appeal decisions by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) - claiming this power is detrimental to the interests of healthcare professionals and unnecessary as the PSA itself has the authority to appeal decisions.
The Government agreed that the GMC should be stripped of the power in summer 2018, following the Sir Norman Williams review, and in its response to the DHSC consultation on regulatory reform in July this year.
Dr Rob Hendry, Medical Director at Medical Protection, said: “We remain deeply concerned and increasingly frustrated, that the GMC maintains the right of appeal over Fitness to Practise determinations of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal.
“The Government has agreed to remove the power, but until the relevant legislative changes are made, the GMC can continue to challenge decisions.
“We welcome the GMC’s commitment to greater transparency on its decision-making process on appeals - but this does not distract from, nor negate the need for, the removal of its power of appeal as quickly as possible.
“In our meetings with the regulator, we have urged them to be more proactive in their dealings with the Government and call for the statutory power to be removed by a simple and swift legislative measure. There is more the GMC can and should do.
“Without question, the GMC’s Fitness to Practise function is what causes our members the most concern. Proceedings can have career altering implications for doctors, not to mention significant adverse effects on their health. That is why MPS will always remain a constructive but critical stakeholder of the GMC in this regard.
Dr Hendry added: “The regulator must look to how it can improve - it cannot and should not be complacent.”
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About Medical Protection
Medical Protection is a trading name of The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”). 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 and can also provide, depending on the type of membership required, the right to request indemnity for any 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.