27 December 2008

"Wrong kind of misconduct"

In October Remedy, smarting from the catastrophe of the medical training applications system (MTAS), instructed their lawyers to write to the General Medical Council (GMC). Essentially the allegation was that the doctors in charge of MTAS had fallen below the high standards required and that the GMC should investigate.

The GMC has now rejected the call for an enquiry. According to the GMC:

i) the alleged misconduct is not relevant to the fitness to practise of these doctors, and

ii) allegations of deficient performance must be concerned with poor performance in a clinical setting.

Dr Grumble knows nothing about the law but he can read. Below is a cut and paste job from the judgment relating to the case of Professor Sir Roy Meadow:

....... "serious professional misconduct" is not statutorily defined and is not capable of precise description or delimitation. It may include not only misconduct by a doctor in his clinical practice, but misconduct in the exercise, or professed exercise, of his medical calling in other contexts, such as that here in the giving of expert medical evidence before a court.

Could the GMC's decision have more to do with expedience than the letter of the law?

Remedy and their lawyers believe:

• that the GMC rejection on such shaky grounds is at best absurd and at worst unfairly protective of an unimpeachable elite

• that there are unhealthy double standards of accountability between the profession and its leaders

• that it is the duty of an organisation like Remedy to step up and restore accountability to that leadership

• that a clear precedent needs to be set pour encourager les autres

• that far from being an issue from the past, unaccountable leadership is an ongoing problem for the profession which needs to be addressed immediately

They have some good points but if they want to take this further they will need to raise a lot of money. Lawyers don't come cheap.

For more on this issue visit Remedy.


Henry North London said...

I know I referred a consultant for bullying me and they threw it out

Yet it clearly states in both GMC today and in Good medical practice paragraph 46 that this kind of behaviour should be challenged

They operate double standards, and screw us over

Anonymous said...

Curious - The MTAS debacle does not fall within 'duties of a doctor' because it wasn't related to clinical practice, and yet the suspension of a junior doctor for swearing on a closed forum does fall under 'duties of a doctor', though it didn't affect patient care.

I'm glad I'm out of it all.

Dr who? said...

Which makes me guess the outcome of that GMC investigation of the two deans involved in the Scotgate affair

And, is Liam Donaldoson really in Doha? as per iwantgreatcare.com? .. What did Doha do wrong?! and who is the CMO for England now? :-)