1. Section 35B (1)(a) of the Medical Act 1983, 'Notification and Disclosure by the General Council' states that (1) 'As soon as is reasonably practicable after the relevant date, the General Council shall notify the following of an investigation by the General Council of a practitioner’s fitness to practise— (a)...the Scottish Ministers.
As the GMC's internal system of investigation has changed greatly since the Medical Act 1983, could the Scottish Govt. clarify at what stage of a GMC complaint concerning a practitioner's fitness to practise, the govt is informed of the practitioner's details?
As I understand it, the GMC's new triage system weeds out most complaints very early on and the ones that make it through are then assigned a case officer to conduct a Provisional Enquiry (PE), after which an 'assistant registrar' will make a decision about whether the PE is 'promoted'. The Medical Act 1983 suggests that the Scottish Ministers will be informed once the case officer is assigned, however as the GMC's process of investigation has changed fairly recently, could the Scottish Govt. isolate for me the point in the investigation process I have outlined when the GMC informs them of a practitioner's details?
2. Finally, could the Scottish Govt. clarify whether the substance of the GMC complaint is passed onto them or is it simply a practitioner's details?
As an example if a GMC complaint was made against Dr Philip Martin of Brigadoon Medical Practice for inappropriate consultation notes, would the Scottish Govt be informed of all of these three elements (name, practice, and substance of complaint) or just the first two? Any corrective clarification of what exactly occurs here would be greatly appreciated.
1. The General Medical Council (GMC) is the statutory regulator for the medical profession in the UK. It is independent of government and its legislative framework is reserved to the UK Parliament.
Section 35B (1)(a) of the Medical Act 1983 states:
“As soon as is reasonably practicable after the relevant date, the General Council shall notify the following of an investigation by the General Council of a practitioner’s fitness to practise- (a)the Secretary of State, the Scottish Ministers, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland and the National Assembly for Wales”
In accordance with Section 35B (1)(a) of the Medical Act 1983, it is the GMC’s statutory duty to notify Scottish Ministers of doctors who are currently being investigated under its fitness to practise procedures, or those who they are undertaking provisional enquiries into.
In order to satisfy this duty, the GMC typically writes to Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) on a weekly basis, unless there are no notifications to be reported.
The CMO is informed as soon as provisional enquires and/or investigations are disclosed to the doctor. The doctor’s relevant employer is notified at the same time.
2. The GMC does not provide the substance of a complaint; it discloses the registrant’s name and GMC number.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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