Dr Eia Asen

Sarah Knight made this Freedom of Information request to General Medical Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear General Medical Council,

Dr. Eia Asen

We would be most grateful for information regarding this doctor.

This doctor states that he is a Consultant Child Psychiatrist who qualified as a medical doctor in Berlin, but does not specify the university or college where he qualified. He states that he worked in general medicine but does not specify where.

[potentially defamatory material removed]

Kindly confirm the following please:

1. Is Dr Eia Asen registered and licensed to practise as a medical doctor in this country by the General Medical Council?

2. In which University or College in Berlin did Dr Eia Asen qualify as a medical doctor and in what year?

We thank you for your anticipated co-operation in this matter, whilst we await your response.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Knight

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Ms Knight

Your information request F12/5072/SL

Thank you for your email of 22 November 2012 asking for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

We will consider your request and give you the information as soon as we can, normally within the 20 working day limit set by the FOIA.

Please note that there may be some information which we cannot release to you under the FOIA. If this is the case, we will let you know why and state the relevant exemptions given in the FOIA. We will also give you information about how to appeal our decision.

I have allocated your request to Sarah Leigh. If you have any questions, please contact her on 0161 923 6398 or email [email address].

Kind regards

Gayle Impey

Dr Gayle Impey
Information Access Team Administrator
General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street, Manchester M3 3AW
[email address]
0161 923 6286

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Sarah Leigh (0161 923 6398), General Medical Council

1 Attachment

Our ref: F12/5072/SL

Dear Ms Knight

Thank you for your email of 22 November 2012. Your request has been considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

I can confirm that there is no Dr Eia Asen registered with the GMC. However, Dr Eia Asen is instead registered as Dr Karl Asen and both names refer to the same person.

Please see attached a copy of Dr Asen's registration record from the GMC website. As you can see, Dr Asen gained his primary medical qualification in 1971 at the Freie Universitat in Berlin. Please note that the 'Doctor History' section of the attached only shows details from 20 October 2005 onwards as this was when the Medical Register was put online. Dr Asen has been fully registered with the GMC since 1978. Similar, the GMC only introduced licensing on 16 November 2009 and doctors were not required to have a licence to practise before this date.

Regarding Dr Asen's use of different names, I should explain that the GMC advise doctors to use their registered name when practising. Some, however, use a varied, shortened or familiar form of their name in day to day contact with patients or colleagues. Such a practice is acceptable but when completing prescriptions or signing statutory documents a doctor should always use their registered name. Generally speaking a doctor's registered name will be that which appears on their primary medical qualification certificate. The GMC expects that all doctors will use their GMC reference number widely to identify themselves to all those with whom they have professional contact.

For more information about this topic, please read the guidance available for doctors on our website:
http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/informatio...

I hope this information is of assistance. If you have any queries regarding the way I have handled your request, please contact Julian Graves, Information Access Manager, at [email address].

Yours sincerely

Sarah Leigh
Information Access Officer
[email address]
0161 923 6398

General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW

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Dear Sarah Leigh (0161 923 6398),

[Potentially defamatory material removed]
As a result, I am therefore seeking specific and definitive clarifications from you please:

1. [Potentially defamatory material removed]

2. From your explanation “Regarding Dr Asen's use of different names, I should explain that the GMC advise doctors to use their registered name when practising. Some, however, use a varied, shortened or familiar form of their name in day to day contact with patients or colleagues. Such a practice is acceptable but when completing prescriptions or signing statutory documents a doctor should always use their registered name. Generally speaking a doctor's registered name will be that which appears on their primary medical qualification certificate. The GMC expects that all doctors will use their GMC reference number widely to identify themselves to all those with whom they have professional contact.”, [potentially defamatory material removed]

3. [Potenitally defamatory material removed]

4. What proof does the GMC have that Eia Asen and Karl Michael Asen are one and the same person [potentially defamatory material removed]?

5. [Potentially defamatory material removed]

6. What steps were generally required at the time of his registration to verify applicant doctor’s identities and their foreign qualifications?

7. What steps did the GMC take to verify this man’s identity and his qualifications before his inclusion in the register in 1978?

8. What is state med exam? Is that the exam he took or is that the qualification he gained? Where does that stand in comparison to MBBS or MBBCh in the English speaking world?

9. Is Dr. Karl Michael Asen retired? If he is when was he retired?

10. I note he was fully registered with the GMC from 1978 and he was entered into the Specialist Register for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry only on June 21st 2000; please kindly confirm what he practised as between 1978 – 2000 a period of 22 years – whilst being registered with the GMC.
Once again, thank you so very much for your assistance and I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Knight

Sarah Leigh (0161 923 6398), General Medical Council

I will be out of the office from Friday 21 December 2012 until I return on
2 January 2013. I will not have access to my emails and your email will
not be forwarded. If you enquiry is urgent, please contact the Information
Access Team on 0161 923 6365 or email [GMC request email].

 

Regards

 

Sarah Leigh

 

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FOI, General Medical Council

This message has been hidden. This email was just an acknowledgement. It has been hidden as it quoted the potentially defamatory material in the previous message and cannot easily be redacted. Please contact us if you have any questions. If you are the requester, then you may sign in to view the message.

Sarah Leigh (0161 923 6398), General Medical Council

This message has been hidden. This response quotes potentially defamatory material from the previous email sent to the authority. The content of the actual response has been included in an annotation at the bottom of the request. Please contact us if you have any questions. If you are the requester, then you may sign in to view the message.

Dear Sarah Leigh (0161 923 6398),

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my request. Whilst your response raises several questions, I will only at this stage pursue your response at paragraph 2: I restrict myself to requesting that you kindly and clearly explain how the name 'Eia' is a varied form of the names 'Karl' and 'Michael'. Frankly, I am truly astonished by your attempt to convince me and the general public that the name Eia Asen is a varied form of Karl Michael Asen. Whilst you may not have wanted to insult our intelligence, your attempt is as credible as attempting to convince us that Natasha Petrosky [Smith] is a 'varied' form of the name Sarah [Smith]. Please kindly note that as this is not a new request, I would expect you to respond expeditiously please. Also do note that Section 40(2) or Section 40(2) by virtue of 40(3)(a)(i) of the FOI Act 2000 do not apply and so do not preclude you from providing this information as I have not asked for personal information of a third party or with regards to the GMC's consideration of the discrepancies in this person's name, but that I have simply asked you to explain how these names are a varied form of the other and as you will note, Michael, Karl and 'Eia' are simply names. Also kindly bear in mind that since you have volunteered these names/information in your previous responses, if you now refuse to provide a credible response to this question it could easily become tantamount to the fact that you are already in breach of Section 40(2) by your previous disclosure of the name. It is simply in the interest of Freedom of Information that you simply admit that Section 40 (2)(3) clearly do not apply and provide the answer sought without further delay. Please do note that not only are these simply names and generic information, but that these names are already in the public domain and are therefore not at all private information. This is a very serious matter and I therefore trust that you do apply the diligence and seriousness it deserves. Please be rest assured that I will follow this up closely with you and to the highest level possible.

Once again, thank you for your assistance so far in this matter and I look forward to hearing from you again.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Knight

Sarah Leigh (0161 923 6398), General Medical Council

Dear Ms Knight

Thank you for your email of 5 March.

To clarify my response regarding Dr Asen's names, the GMC guidance states that it is acceptable for doctors to use a different name as long as they use their GMC registered name for prescriptions and statutory documents.

Therefore, to use your example, if there were a doctor named 'Natasha Petrosky Smith' on the Medical Register then the doctor could refer to themselves as 'Sarah Smith' with colleagues and patients etc, as long as they used 'Natasha Petrosky Smith' on prescriptions and statutory documents.

I should also respond to your comments regarding my application of the Section 40(2) exemption. This exemption was not applied not to Dr Asen's names as clearly the names are in the public domain. The exemption was instead applied to the information held relating to the GMC's consideration of Dr Asen's use of an alternative name, his application for registration, and his employment details. This information is Dr Asen's personal data I therefore believe the exemption previously stated applies.

I hope the above clarifies my previous correspondence with you. Again, please note that you do have a right to appeal my decision under the FOIA. If you wish to appeal, please email Julian Graves, Information Access Manager.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Leigh
Information Access Officer
[email address]
0161 923 6398

General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW

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Dear Sarah Leigh (0161 923 6398),

Thank you very much for your response to my request. It has been extremely helpful and I am deeply grateful for your input and clarifications. However, I need one further and final clarification concerning one paragraph in your response which I herein quote:

"Therefore, to use your example, if there were a doctor named 'Natasha Petrosky Smith' on the Medical Register then the doctor could refer to themselves as 'Sarah Smith' with colleagues and patients etc, as long as they used 'Natasha Petrosky Smith' on prescriptions and statutory documents."

The simple clarification that I seek is this:

[Potentially defamatory material removed]

I'd be most grateful for your usually very helpful insight. Thanks a lot in advance.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Knight

Sarah Leigh (0161 923 6398), General Medical Council

This message has been hidden. This response has been hidden as it quotes potentially defamatory material sent in the previous email. It contains general advice from the GMC on how to make complaints rather than any response under FOI law. Please contact us if you have any questions. If you are the requester, then you may sign in to view the message.

Dear Sarah Leigh (0161 923 6398),

Once again, thank you for your response. Regrettably, in this instance I have found neither your response nor the attachments to be useful or to have answered my questions.

Contrary to your opinion, my questions are firmly and squarely within the scope of FOI Act. I merely seek a clarification of your own statements, which were given under the FOI Act request, and which were and are within the scope of the request. I hope that you do understand that to now state that they are outside the scope of FOI Act would mean that you have breached the FOI Act in your previous response?

In order that we are able to bring this particular request to a final and logical conclusion and to prevent further back and forth of requests and responses I would, for your ease of reference, post the relevant paragraphs in your previous response from which these questions stem; and I am willing to paraphrase the questions to make them easier to deal with.

In your previous response, you stated:

"To clarify my response regarding Dr Asen's names, the GMC guidance states that it is acceptable for doctors to use a different name as long as they use their GMC registered name for prescriptions and statutory documents.

Therefore, to use your example, if there were a doctor named 'Natasha Petrosky Smith' on the Medical Register then the doctor could refer to themselves as 'Sarah Smith' with colleagues and patients etc, as long as they used 'Natasha Petrosky Smith' on prescriptions and statutory documents."

So my paraphrased questions are:

1. Please kindly confirm if you are stating in your above quoted first paragraph that it is completely acceptable to the GMC that doctors registered with them can use completely different and unrelated names to the name with which they are registered; or is it only acceptable for them to use a varied, familiar, or shortened form of the name with which they are registered for example Mike, Mick, Mickey etc for Michael?

2. Please kindly confirm that what you have stated in your above quoted second paragraph is that it is not acceptable to the GMC for doctors to use a completely different name from the one with which they are registered in writing prescription and signing statutory documents even if they may use these different/familiar [whichever is applicable to your response to question 1 above] names with patients and colleagues.

3. In the event that a doctor signs statutory documents with different names other than the name with which he is registered, what is the GMC's position in protecting the public in this instance?

4. Please kindly confirm if you are stating that the GMC does not keep record of these sorts of behaviour/improbities on the part of its registered doctors - if that is the case, can you please tell us the public, why the GMC would not keep such an important record and the statistics of such incidents?

Important Comment to bear in mind as you consider the above questions and weigh the detriments of unhelpful responses versus the benefits of clear and non-misleading communication. Please these comments are by no means meant as questions or for you to respond to, but which would underpin further action should that become necessary and these are simply that:

The members of the public would be mortified if you are indeed confirming that the GMC have neither faced these scenarios in its years of existence, nor keep accurate record - even if it is only statistical records - of these incidents. Key on the minds of the public at this stage is the GMC's principles that underpin its approach to regulation which are that it should:

be independent, fair, efficient and effective
raise standards and enhance patient safety
foster the professionalism of doctors
encourage early and effective local action
command the confidence and support of all our key interest groups

With the first of the 4 pillars of the GMC's strategic priority being:
"Protecting the public. Providing
assurance to the public by giving
people more confidence that
doctors are fit to practise; and
providing them with greater access
to information about their doctor’s
practice, and an understanding of
the role of the regulator."

We expect clear and non-misleading responses and clarifications to the specific questions being asked. Refusal to answer or clarify a previous answer is clearly contra-indicative to your above strategic priority and it will be extremely worrying and grounds for further questions if these questions are not answered.

So please for the purpose of clarity and transparency and in accordance with the law - in this instance - the FOI Act, kindly provide clear explanations and answers please as I need your clarifications of your own statements in your previous responses. Since you had provided those responses under the FOI Act request, it would definitely not now suddenly fall outside the scope of FOI Act request. That as you know would invariably mean that you had breached the FOI Act in the first instance in your earlier response.

Please do the public a service, comply with the FOI Act and provide a clear response to the above questions please.

If we are interested in making a complaint against any particular doctor, which we were not, we know exactly what to do. I trust that you will be able to assist and bring this request to a logical conclusion without further ado or the need for external intervention of the Informations Commissioner.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soonest.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Knight

Dear General Medical Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of General Medical Council's handling of my FOI request 'Dr Eia Asen'.

This FOI request is long overdue. The simple matter that was raised before the GMC was expanded upon by the GMC responder without being asked to do so. The last questions asked are the final questions which are firmly within the remit of the FOI Act and should therefore be answered. Not only do members of the public have a right to access these information, but GMC's reticence to provide clear and consistent responses or at all is concerning particularly in light of GMC's own stated strategic priority of protecting the public. This request has been made under the FOI Act and we hope and trust that the GMC is fully able to comply with this Act and provide the information requested in the last correspondence please.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Knight

Julian Graves (0161 923 6351), General Medical Council

Dear Ms Knight

Thank you for your email below.

I am sorry that you are unhappy with the FOI responses you have received from us.

The 'final questions' you raised in your email sent to the GMC on 26 September 2013 are currently under consideration by one of my team. We will respond to you on those as soon as possibly can.

Should you remain unhappy on receipt of that response please do not hesitate to contact me and I will conduct a review of your request in full.

Yours sincerely

Julian Graves

Julian Graves
Information Access Manager
General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW
 
Tel. no: 0161 923 6351
Email: [email address]

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Dear Julian Graves (0161 923 6351),

Thank you for your response confirming that you are dealing with my request for an internal review. I shall await your response which we hope will deal with the specific questions raised and which will concomitantly put this request to its final rest.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Knight

Dear Julian Graves (0161 923 6351),

I would be most grateful to get your response to my questions by the end of this month, namely, Thursday 31st October 2013. You will agree that this request is now seriously overdue.

I look forward to hearing from you soonest.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Knight

Courtney Brucato (0161 923 6692), General Medical Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: F13/5745/SL

Dear Ms Knight,

Please find attached our response to your appeal. If you have any questions please let me know.

Yours sincerely,

Courtney Brucato
Information Access Officer
General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW
 
Phone: 0161 923 6692

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Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

I have removed a number of annotations that were in breach of our policy or would have made no sense after the removal of other annotations:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/requ...

Ganesh - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

Here is the contents of the response from the GMC dated 24th January 2013

Ganesh - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

From: Sarah Leigh (0161 923 6398)
General Medical Council

24 January 2013

Our ref: F13/5138/SL

Dear Ms Knight

Thank you for your email of 26 December 2012 seeking more information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). I have responded to each of your points separately below.

1. I can confirm that there is no doctor registered with the name 'Dr Eia Asen'. Rather, Dr Karl Michael Asen is registered and chooses to also use the name Dr Eia Asen.

2. The name Dr Eia Asen is a 'varied' name, as is stated in our guidance. In terms of what consideration the GMC has given to Dr Asen's use of an alternative name, I cannot provide this information to you as this is Dr Asen's personal data and it would breach the Data Protection Act 1998 to disclose it. I therefore believe the following exemption under the FOIA applies to this information:

Section 40(2) by virtue of section 40(3)(a)(i) - Personal information of a third party. This relates to information requested concerning a third party, and the disclosure of which would be in breach of the Principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). In this instance we believe that the disclosure of this type of information would breach the First Principle of
the DPA, which requires that the processing of personal data is fair and lawful. We consider that the conditions in Schedule 2 of the DPA, relating to the processing of personal data, are not met and therefore the release of the information you have requested would be unlawful.

3. The GMC does not hold 'appraisal' information relating to Dr Asen. We do not collect or hold appraisals undertaken by doctors' employers.

4. The GMC does hold information which shows that Dr Eia Asen and Dr Karl Michael Asen are the same individual. However, I cannot disclose exactly what this evidence is. As with point 2 above, this is Dr Asen's personal data and I believe the exemption stated above also applies to this information.

5. Again, providing you with the date the GMC became aware of Dr Asen's use of the name 'Eia' would be in breach of the DPA as this is Dr Asen's personal data. As with points 2 and 4 above, I believe the exemption at Section 40(2) of the FOIA applies here as well.

6. We do not hold detailed records going back to 1978 in terms of our process for verifying a doctor's identity and qualifications. I have not been able to establish exactly what checks the GMC carried out from the records we hold. I can confirm that we did check doctors' original qualification certificates before accepting their application. Clearly,
verifying a person's identity is a much more sophisticated process now than it was three decades ago. The GMC's own process for checking a doctor's identity has developed in line with this. You can read more about our current application process for EU nationals on our website:

http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/registrati...

7. We do hold some information relating to Dr Asen's application for registration and how this was processed. However, as with points 2,4 and 5 above, this is Dr Asen's personal data and I believe the exemption at Section 40(2) of the FOIA applies to this information as well.

8. The 'State Exam Med' is Dr Asen's Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ) and is equivalent to a PMQ gained by doctors educated in the UK. In German this is known as 'Medizin (Staatesamen)' which doctors must obtain in order to work as a doctor in Germany.

9. I can confirm that we do hold some information relating to Dr Asen's current employment status. However, as with points 2,4 and 5 above, this is Dr Asen's personal data and I believe the exemption at Section 40(2) of the FOIA applies to this information as well.

10. I can confirm that we do hold some information relating to Dr Asen's employment history from 1978-2000. However, as with points 2,4 and 5 above, this is Dr Asen's personal data and I believe the exemption at Section 40(2) of the FOIA applies to this information as well.

I hope you find this response useful. In relation to the exemption I applied to some of the information requested, you do have a right to appeal my decision under the FOIA. If you wish to appeal, please email Julian Graves, Information Access Manager, at [2][email address] and explain your reasons. You also have the right of appeal to the Information Commissioner, the independent regulator of the FOIA. If appropriate, Mr Graves will provide the relevant contact details.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Leigh

Information Access Officer

[3][email address]

0161 923 6398

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

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