Expert Witnesses

Brenda Prentice made this Freedom of Information request to General Medical Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was refused by General Medical Council.

Dear General Medical Council,

I have brought a complaint to the GMC about an expert witness who gave an opinion to Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman. I said he was not the right discipline to give such an opinion. He has brought the medical profession into disrepute by giving an opinion on a subject on which he was not an expert. Because of Dr K's opinion the PHSO did not conduct an investigation into my complaint, it was dismissed.

GMC said on Radio 4 Today, it must investigate all complaints brought to it to comply with it's charitable status. My complaint was not investigated by GMC.

I note Dr Squire has been struck off your register for giving an opinion to which she would appear to be eminently qualified to give.

Please direct me to where on your web site there is information about her case so I can understand why there appears to be one rule for one and another rule for others.

I would be pleased to see what policies GMC has to substantiate such differences in cases which appear to be the same, but are treated by GMC in such a different manner.

Yours faithfully,

Brenda Prentice

FOI, General Medical Council

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

 

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In the meantime, if you want any further information about the GMC, please
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Thank you

 

Information access team

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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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Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Hello Brenda,

Was Dr Squire a female doctor then?

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Ms Prentice,

 

Your information request F16/8589/LG

 

Thank you for your email dated 10 December 2016 requesting clarification
and direction as to the GMC process of handling complaints.

 

How we will consider your request

 

We’re going to look at 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

 

Louise Gormley will be handling your request. If you have any questions
you can call her on 0161 923 6311 or email her at
[email address].

 

 

 

Akmal Karim

Information Assistant

Email: [email address]

0161 240 8313

 

 

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

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Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

Yes Fiona. However it appears she has been reinstated!

You have to ask, why? Who made the decision to reverse this and under what circumstance? If they can reverse for her, will they for my complaint about an expert witness?

Seems it is another organisation that has one rule for one and another rule for others.

Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311), General Medical Council

Our reference: F16/8589/LG

 

Dear Ms Prentice

 

Thank you for your email dated 10 December 2016, in which you request
information about Dr Squire’s FTP case and information about how we
investigate complaints.

 

In response to your request I can confirm that the hearing minutes of Dr
Waney Squier’s MPTS hearing can be found on her entry on our List of
Registered Medical Practitioners, link to the LRMP is below:

[1]http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/register/L...

 

Information about our process of investigating doctors, including the
guidance we provide to our decision-makers can also be found on our
website:

[2]http://www.gmc-uk.org/concerns/the_inves...

 

I hope this helps.

 

If you have any queries or concerns about the processing of this request
please contact Julian Graves, Information Access Manager at
[3][email address]

 

Kind regards

 

Louise

 

Louise Gormley

Information Access Officer
Resources and Quality Assurance Directorate
 
Direct Line: 0161 923 6311
Email:        [4][email address]
Website:    [5]www.gmc-uk.org
Address:    Information Access Team
                 General Medical Council
                 3 Hardman Street

                 Manchester

                 M3 3AW

 

 

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.

show quoted sections

Dear Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311),

Thank you Louise but I asked:

'I would be pleased to see what policies GMC has to substantiate such differences in cases which appear to be the same, but are treated by GMC in such different manners'.

I can't see an answer in what you have directed me to. Please be more specific.

I am asking how GMC allows itself such difference approaches to what seems to me to be the same issue. I expect there is recorded information for this approach.

Yours sincerely,

Brenda Prentice

Dear Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311),

By law GMC should have given me the answer to my question by now.

Please reread my request and answer it.

It is not about the case notes of Dr Squier. It is an ethical question! A question of poor practice in expert witness procedure which is not helpful to patients.

As I understand it doctors are to do no harm. By giving wrong expert advice to PHSO, Dr K has not only harmed me, but will harm other patients who come after me unless action is taken.

If Dr S is 'struck off' and then has to be reinstated as a wrong decision was taken by GMC. Why has no action been taken about Dr K.

Does GMC policy give the right to treat two seemingly similar cases in such different ways?

Patients come to GMC for protection when wrong doing has taken place.

Please answer the question. It must be recorded somewhere.

Yours sincerely,

Brenda Prentice

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Well said Brenda;

"Patients come to GMC for protection when wrong doing has taken place."

Akmal Karim (0161 240 8313), General Medical Council

Dear Ms Prentice

 

Thank you for your email of  12 January 2017.

 

We will be considering your email under our comments and complaints
procedure. This sets a target response time of 20 working days. We will
endeavour to respond to you within this timeframe.  

 

Julian Graves will be responding to your email. If you have any queries
you can contact him on 0161 923 6351, or email [1][email address].

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Akmal Karim

Information Assistant

Email: [email address]

0161 240 8313

 

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 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 'Expert Witnesses'.

This question was asked on the10th Dec and is over due. Please respond now, not in another 20days!

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

Yours faithfully,

Brenda Prentice

FOI, General Medical Council

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

 

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can with a further acknowledgement.
You’ll usually hear from us on the next working day, but it might take a
little longer during busy periods.

 

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.

show quoted sections

Julian Graves (0161 923 6351), General Medical Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Prentice

Please find attached my response to your request for an internal review.

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 Julian. You are right your response is disappointing. It does not address the ethical issues on which I have asked for information.

Firstly I have asked for public information, not personal information.
Please explain why you have brought this into your response?

Your web site says:
'If a complaint is deemed sufficiently serious', please tell me who makes that judgement?
It was clearly a poor judgement in the case of Dr S. She had to be reinstated, so GMC is capable of making mistakes. You are right to say there are inconsistencies.

Also from your web site:
'We are an independent organisation that helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice across the UK'.

It is not explain what happens when, for financial reasons, doctors do
* taken advantage of their role as a doctor; (And give expert advice on subjects they are not experts on, ie wrong discipline)

Under what circumstances do GMC issues warnings when fitness is not impaired?
I have been told the only sanction GMC has is to 'strike off doctors' and yet your web site says that is not the case, GMC can issue warnings.

*We can also issue a warning to a doctor where the doctor's fitness to practise is not impaired but there has been a significant departure from the principles set out in our guidance for doctors,

For example when doctors ethics are called in to question by giving expert advice for money, when they are not qualified in that discipline.

I do not doubt a wide range of guidance, but guidance can be used or ignored at will as there is no sanction if it is not followed.

Sadly Julian, your response falls very short of the questions I asked. Would you like to try again please?

Yours sincerely,

Brenda Prentice

Dear Julian Graves (0161 923 6351),

I really think this should be dealt with in an open and honest way. It is long over due for a proper answer.

Please response soonest!

Yours sincerely,

Brenda Prentice