Professor Jenny Simpson, who is also chief executive of the British Association of Medical Managers (BAMM) and a former paediatrician, was speaking to a BAMM conference in London this month.
She said the earliest that regulation change would take place would be spring 2008.
But she added that there was much work still to do and urged GPs to take part by contributing to a website to be set up.
She described raising concerns and managing information as her ‘current nightmare’.
‘The reason why it’s giving me nightmares is that it’s actually the crux of what I’m trying to struggle with.
‘What is the status of the soft information that everybody knows?’
She talked about the Bristol inquiry, which was set up following the death of 29 babies at the Bristol Royal Infirmary between 1984 and 1995, and how it confirmed suspicions but there had been no way of converting them into more meaningful information.
‘There just wasn’t a way of converting what was known into hard information that was OK to use as hard information. If we don’t actually address that and do something about it we will have failed unless we have a mechanism of getting that information and using it effectively,’ she added.
‘It’s also quite wrong to have some sort of malicious gossip stacked up against a doctor who is performing extremely well.’
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