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Competency skills of Assistant Registrar's

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Dear General Medical Council,

Please can you supply the competency key skills required by the GMC to appoint Assistant Registrars and any qualifications that are required to be appointed to this post.

How many Assistant Registrars have there been employed by the GMC in each of the last 5 years. What is the rate of leaving the organisation and any staff shortages over that period.

What is the range of pay for a Registrar.

What training do they receive after joining the GMC before deciding on cases and how long does this training last. Do they have to undergo refresher training, if so how often and on what subjects.

Before deciding on cases, what specific training do they receive on The Human Rights Acts, Disability Act, Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Codes of Practice.

How is their work audited.

How many complaints have you received and dealt with about the lack of competence of Assistant Registrars and their decisions in the last 5 years.

How many A/R have been dismissed from the GMC in the last 5 years.

Have you identified any themes about the complaints received and how have you dealt with those themes.

Yours faithfully,

R West

FOI, General Medical Council

Thank you for getting in touch. Please note this is an automated email.

 

Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic outbreak we are operating at
reduced capacity. It may therefore take us longer to respond to your
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back to you as soon as we can with a further acknowledgement.

 

In the meantime, if you want any further information about the GMC, please
visit our website.

 

Thank you

 

Information access team

General Medical Council

Email: [GMC request email]

Telephone: 0161 923 6365

Working with doctors Working for patients

The General Medical Council helps to protect patients and improve medical
education and practice in the UK by setting standards for students and
doctors. We support them in achieving (and exceeding) those standards, and
take action when they are not met.

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FOI, General Medical Council

Dear R West,

 

Your information request – IR1-2734386415

Thank you for your emails dated 4 July, in which you ask for various
information about GMC Assistant Registrars.

 

How we will consider your request

We’re going to consider your request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA). The FOIA gives us 20 working days to respond, but we’ll come
back to you as soon as we can.

 

Who to contact

Matt McCoig-Lees will be handling your request. If you have any questions
you can contact him via email at [1][email address].

 

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic outbreak we are currently operating at
reduced capacity. It may therefore take us longer to respond to your
request. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Lauren Barrowcliffe

Information Access Team Assistant

 

[email address]

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

 

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Matthew McCoig-Lees (0161 923 6579), General Medical Council

1 Attachment

Dear R West

 

I write further to previous correspondence to set out some information
about Assistant Registrars and ask for some clarification about your
request.

 

Assistant Registrar is not a job title or grade of staff and is not a
specific job you can apply for. There’s no job description I can provide
for the role. Many people at various grades in multiple directorates have
the capability to make AR decisions. For example in Registration, Section
Heads can take decisions relating to who can be added to the List of
Medical Practioners. In Our Fitness to Practice section, Investigation
Officers make decisions about how to process complaints. Their pay varies
wildly.  

 

My first question is to ask if you are asking about a specific kind of AR
or work performed by AR’s for example initial decisions taken on how to
process an initial complaint?

 

You asked ‘How many complaints have  you received and dealt with about the
lack of competence of Assistant Registrars and their decisions in the last
5 years.’  I need to understand what you mean by ‘complaint’. Do you mean
how many times have their decisions been challenged by means of a review
or something else?

 

Finally, you asked ‘How many A/R have been dismissed from the GMC in the
last 5 years.’  I need to understand whether you mean for something
connected to their work as an AR or for anything at all?

 

If I haven’t received the clarifications by 14 July  2020 I will have to
interpret your request as best as I can. Your request will go on hold
until such time as I receive a response or the 14 July, whichever is the
sooner.  After this I will be able to continue work on your request.

 

 

 

---

Kind Regards

 

Matt

 

Matthew McCoig-Lees

Information Access Officer

Information Access Team

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

Email: [1][email address]

Website: [2]www.gmc-uk.org

Tel: 0161 923 6579

 

[3]Coronavirus email footer_artwork_5-01 REWORK

 

From: FOI
Sent: 06 July 2020 16:42
To: '[FOI #674350 email]'
<[FOI #674350 email]>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Competency skills of
Assistant Registrar's

 

Dear R West,

 

Your information request – IR1-2734386415

Thank you for your emails dated 4 July, in which you ask for various
information about GMC Assistant Registrars.

 

How we will consider your request

We’re going to consider your request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA). The FOIA gives us 20 working days to respond, but we’ll come
back to you as soon as we can.

 

Who to contact

Matt McCoig-Lees will be handling your request. If you have any questions
you can contact him via email at [4][email address].

 

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic outbreak we are currently operating at
reduced capacity. It may therefore take us longer to respond to your
request. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Lauren Barrowcliffe

Information Access Team Assistant

 

[5][email address]

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

 

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Dear Matthew McCoig-Lees (0161 923 6579),

Thank you for your reply to ask me to clarify my requests.

I am interested in the decision makers that are involved in dealing with the complaints at the GMC relating to fitness to practice division.

Perhaps you can give the job description of Investigation officers and the qualifications that may be required to perform their tasks.

Have you got an organisational structure framework document for the Fitness to Practice division.

How is a complaint processed through the GMC from the initial complaint, to review, asking for an expert opinion to go through to a Medical Tribunal under the Fitness to Practice procedure. What training is given to the people making these decisions about various stages concerning acts such as Humans Rights Act, Mental Health and Mental Capacity, Mental Health codes of Practice etc.

How many times has an initial decision to investigate a Doctor been challenged.

How many complaints have been made about the expert's views on a case that was closed at initial review stage.

How many experts used by the GMC have been subject to being removed from your panel of experts and any action taken against the expert by the GMC.

How many Assistant Registrars in the Fitness to Practice service have been dismissed as a result of work related poor conduct.

I hope this clarifies the information that I am seeking to find

Yours sincerely,

R West

Matthew McCoig-Lees (0161 923 6579), General Medical Council

Dear Mr West

 

Thank you for your email and phone call to my colleague Jess this morning.

 

I considered that your clarification changed your request so radically
that it constituted a new request, principally by asking for information
about experts and our organisation structure which was not part of your
previous request. Therefore, I withdrew it and we set up your
clarification as a new request. That request is with my colleague Simon
Willis, who I have copied into this response.

 

I should clarify that the original deadline for your request was 4 August
2020 before it was withdrawn and the deadline for your new request is 6
August 2020.

 

I hope this satisfactorily explains the position.

 

 

---

Kind Regards

 

Matt

 

Matthew McCoig-Lees

Information Access Officer

Information Access Team

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

Email: [email address]

Website: www.gmc-uk.org

Tel: 0161 923 6579

 

 

 

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Dear Matthew McCoig-Lees (0161 923 6579),
Thanks

Yours sincerely,

R West

Simon Willis (0161 923 6310), General Medical Council

Dear Mx West,

Thank you for your email of 7 July 2020. I’ve considered your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

YOUR REQUEST

“Perhaps you can give the job description of Investigation officers and the qualifications that may be required to perform their tasks.

Have you got an organisational structure framework document for the Fitness to Practice division.

How is a complaint processed through the GMC from the initial complaint, to review, asking for an expert opinion to go through to a Medical Tribunal under the Fitness to Practice procedure. What training is given to the people making these decisions about various stages concerning acts such as Humans Rights Act, Mental Health and Mental Capacity, Mental Health codes of Practice etc.

How many times has an initial decision to investigate a Doctor been challenged.

How many complaints have been made about the expert's views on a case that was closed at initial review stage.

How many experts used by the GMC have been subject to being removed from your panel of experts and any action taken against the expert by the GMC.

How many Assistant Registrars in the Fitness to Practice service have been dismissed as a result of work related poor conduct.”

RESPONSE

I can’t provide the information you requested. This is because of the amount of data you’ve asked for and the work that would be involved. Under the FOIA there’s an exemption for requests where it would cost the public authority more than £450 to process - equivalent to 18 hours’ work.

To estimate the cost we can take into account determining, locating, retrieving and extracting the information requested.

I refer you to the fourth question of your request. The relevant information is not recorded in a way that can be extracted electronically and this means we would need to manually search through every investigation we have ever carried out because you have not set out a timeframe for your request.

Even if it would take just 1 minute to check through each case, I will only be able to search a small fraction of all our records – for instance, there were over 1,900 investigations between 2018 and 2019 alone. Based on an hourly rate of £25 per hour (which is set by the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004) this would cost us significantly in excess of the ‘appropriate limit’ to process.

Under the FOIA, the specific exemption which we believe applies is at section 12. This states that we are not required to comply with a request if we estimate that the cost of doing so would exceed the appropriate limit.

ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE

I am able to provide you the following information regarding questions 1, 2 and 7 if you wish for me to do so:

- the most recent job description and person specification for Investigation Officers
- the current organisational structure of the Fitness to Practice directorate
- the number of Assistant Registrars in the Fitness to Practice directorate dismissed by the GMC

As for your question 3, details about the investigation process is published on our website https://www.gmc-uk.org/concerns/informat.... I would need clarification as to the second part of the request as this is unclear at this stage.

Whilst I am not sure what you mean by “initial review stage” in question 5, it is likely that gathering the relevant data would engage the exemption under section 12.

Finally, question 6, we might be able to provide this information but the data may be misleading because we can choose the expert we instruct; meaning we don’t necessarily have to remove those who we might have concerns about during their contracted term.

YOUR RIGHT TO APPEAL

I'm sorry I couldn’t provide the information you requested. If you would like to appeal this decision please set out your reasons in writing to [GMC request email]. Please note that we will only usually consider appeals received within 40 working days of our response.

You can also appeal to the Information Commissioner, the regulator of FOIA and DPA at:

Customer Contact
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Yours sincerely,

Simon Willis
Information Access Officer
Resources Directorate

Working with doctors Working for patients

The General Medical Council helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice in the UK by setting standards for students and doctors. We support them in achieving (and exceeding) those standards, and take action when they are not met.

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Dear Simon Willis (0161 923 6310),

Please can you provide the following
- the most recent job description and person specification for Investigation Officers
- the current organisational structure of the Fitness to Practice directorate
- the number of Assistant Registrars in the Fitness to Practice directorate dismissed by the GMC

Yours sincerely,

R West

Dear Simon Willis (0161 923 6310),
Perhaps you can now provide this information please

I am able to provide you the following information regarding questions 1, 2 and 7 if you wish for me to do so:

- the most recent job description and person specification for Investigation Officers
- the current organisational structure of the Fitness to Practice directorate
- the number of Assistant Registrars in the Fitness to Practice directorate dismissed by the GMC
Also
What training is given to the people making decisions about complaints against Doctors concerning Human Rights Act, Mental Health and Mental Capacity, Mental Health codes of Practice.

Yours sincerely,

R West

Simon Willis (0161 923 6310), General Medical Council

Dear Mx West,

Thank you for your email below and one from 6 August 2020. We will treat them under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and get back to you within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Willis
Information Access Officer
Resources Directorate

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Simon Willis (0161 923 6310), General Medical Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mx West,

 

YOUR INFORMATION ACCESS REQUEST - IR1-2764732481

 

Further to my email below I’ve considered your request under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000.

 

I have set out below my response to each of your questions.

 

“the most recent job description and person specification for
Investigation Officers”

 

Please find this attached

 

“the current organisational structure of the Fitness to Practice
directorate”

 

Please find this attached

 

“the number of Assistant Registrars in the Fitness to Practice directorate
dismissed by the GMC”

 

No Assistant Registrars in the Fitness to Practice directorate have been
dismissed by the GMC in the last 10 years.

 

“Also What training is given to the people making decisions about
complaints against Doctors  concerning  Human Rights Act, Mental Health
and Mental Capacity, Mental Health codes of Practice.”

 

We offer Assistant Registrars some training around mental capacity in the
context of identifying cases where this might be a factor in the case. All
Case Examiners receive mandatory training on mental capacity and
additional training is provided to ‘mental capacity leads’ who deal with
decisions where this is a factor in the case.

 

We may invite a doctor to attend a health assessment if there are concerns
about their own health and the Case Examiners would have sight of the
reports to inform their decision – the relevant information is available
from our website:
[1]https://www.gmc-uk.org/concerns/informat...
 

 

I hope you find this information useful. If you have any queries about
this, or need anything further, please contact me on the details below.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Simon Willis

Information Access Officer

Resources Directorate

Direct Dial: 0161 923 6310

Email: [email address]

 

 

 

 

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Dear Simon Willis (0161 923 6310),

Thank you for the information you have provided. Can I please ask you to clarify one point.

It appears from your reply that Assistant Registrars do not receive training on Human Rights and The Mental Health Codes of Practice. Can you please confirm specifically what training they have on these two topics.

Yours sincerely,

R West

Simon Willis (0161 923 6310), General Medical Council

Dear Mx West,

Thank you for your email.

Assistant Registrars do not receive specific training around the Human Rights Act or mental health codes of practice as they are able to seek advice from colleagues (e.g. in-house lawyers) and/or external experts where this is required.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Willis
Information Access Officer
Resources Directorate

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are R West please sign in and let everyone know.