Doctors to avoid fitness-to-practise hearing if they agree sanction with GMC

Doctors may be able to avoid a public hearing if they accept whatever sanction the GMC recommends in fitness-to practise cases, under plans set out by the regulator.

Mr Dickson: there is no need to attend a hearing if the doctor is willing to accept sanctions that protect patients
Mr Dickson: there is no need to attend a hearing if the doctor is willing to accept sanctions that protect patients

In a consultation document, the GMC set out plans to change the way it handles fitness-to-practise cases.

The GMC said if doctors accepted sanctions recommended by the regulator in a fitness-to-practise case, including suspension or erasure from the register if necessary, they could avoid ‘stressful’ public hearings. The plans aim to deliver a quicker system while still maintaining fairness to doctors and patients.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘Our view is that attending a hearing can be a stressful experience for everyone involved and there is no need to do this if the doctor is willing to accept sanctions that protect patients.

'These changes would represent a major reform of our procedures and we are keen to ensure that all those with an interest in our work have the opportunity to contribute and respond.'

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey backed the proposals. ‘I think that sounds reasonable,’ he said. ‘The slowness of GMC proceedings is extremely stressful for doctors who find themselves in that situation. The GMC does seriously need to address the time it takes to deal with cases and if this works it is welcome.’

The consultation also discusses whether some cases should always trigger a public hearing and proposes increased opportunities for discussions between the GMC and doctors.

It also proposes automatic erasure for doctors with some criminal convictions, and suspension for doctors who refuse to co-operate in fitness-to-practise cases.

The consultation runs until 11 April.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus