CMO referred to GMC on 'disrepute' claim

England's CMO, Sir Liam Donaldson, is being referred to the GMC by junior doctors' pressure group Remedy UK.

Sir Liam Donaldson
Sir Liam Donaldson

Following the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) debacle, the complaint claims Sir Liam fell below the standard expected of doctors in management and brought the profession into disrepute.

Remedy UK is also calling for a GMC inquiry into the doctors involved in developing the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS). Over 1,200 people have signed Remedy UK's petition.

Sir Liam was the architect of the MMC reforms and the implementation of MTAS, which left the recruitment process for new doctors in chaos last year.

Consultant Dr Richard Marks, who led the Remedy UK review of MTAS, hoped the GMC would take the referral seriously and take action.

'This is not just about Sir Liam. There must have been a group of people involved. They should have seen what was coming and taken action.

'The message is you can't walk away from your own mess.

'I'd like to think they will take this seriously. The whole thing has been a disaster and a lot of people feel very strongly about this.'

The GMC has taken action in the past against doctors in management who have failed to maintain public confidence in the profession or to uphold standards in non-clinical roles.

Remedy UK will use the precedent of Dr John Roylance, former chief executive of United Bristol Healthcare Trust. Dr Roylance was found guilty of professional misconduct for failing to stop what became known as the Bristol heart scandal.

The GMC has yet to respond formally to the referral. The DoH refused to comment on behalf of Sir Liam.

MMC time line

  • August 2005: Introduction of Modernising Medical Careers.
  • February 2007: MTAS website overwhelmed and doctors left without placements.
  • March 2007: Protests calling for MTAS to be scrapped.
  • May 2007: MTAS scrapped.

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