How MUST GPs deal with written alerts and reports of abuse and neglect being suffered by an ' Adult at Risk ' - a vulnerable adult who is elderly, disabled and with a mental health injury ?

Steven King 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 successful.

Dear General Medical Council,

Please provide me with all the guidance and information you hold, know of and have available and expect GPs to comply with in respect of the above, and these matters I am asking about below :

1. I reported to the GP senior partner of my GP practice I was suffering abuse and neglect under Adult Safeguarding - what action must he and would you expect him to take.

2. I reported to my own GP I was suffering abuse and neglect under Adult Safeguarding -
what action MUST she and would you expect her to take ?

3. I reported to a GP sitting in Court on a Disability Living Allowance Tribunal, and provided him with documents showing the abuse and neglect I am suffering - what action MUST he and would you expect him to take ?

4. I reported in writing to a Senior GP who is also the chairman of my local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group that I am suffering abuse and neglect under Adult Safeguarding Procedures - what action MUST he take and would you expect him to take ?

Please provide a complete and clear response to each of the four questions I have raised so that I have a very clear understanding of the duties and responsibilities of each individual GP in their differing official roles as GPs that I have asked about.

Please also provide your latest updated guidance and regulation / Legislation that you hold regarding how you expect every GP to handle reports of neglect and abuse under Adult Safeguarding Procedures , and ' No Secrets ' ?

As I am disabled, I ask for a ' reasonable adjustment under DDA and Equality Legislation, and for all the ' advice and assistance ' I am entitled to under the FOIA and common Law Right to Information to ensure I obtain the best and clearest of information and documents you have , to provide INDIVIDUALLY the fullest of answers to each of the matters I have asked for information about.

A ' timely response ' as expected by the NHS , and the FOIA please ?

Yours faithfully,

Steven King

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Mr King

Your information request F15/6935/SH

Thank you for your email of 4 March 2015 asking for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

We will consider your request and provide you with a response 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 Syed Hamdani. If you have any questions, please contact him on 0161 240 8207 or email [email address].

Yours sincerely

Mrs Mariam Ifzal
Information Assistant
[email address]
0161 923 6420

General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW

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Syed Hamdani (0161 240 8207), General Medical Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr King

 

Your information request - F15/6935/SH

 

Thank you for your email of 4 March 2014 in which you asked information
about our Good Medical Practice (GMP).

 

Our core guidance Good medical practice (GMP) describes what is expected
of all registered doctors in the UK. This guidance is supported by a range
of other explanatory guidance publications, which provide more detail on
how to apply the principles in GMP in practice. Our guidance is not a set
of rules, but we do expect doctors to follow it and to use their
professional judgement to apply the principles to the situations they face
as a doctor. Serious or persistent failure to follow the guidance will put
a doctor’s registration at risk.

 

When we write our guidance, we deliberately set the principles at a high
level so they can be interpreted flexibly by doctors, in all healthcare
settings. We therefore do not have guidance specifically for GPs on their
duties in relation to adult safeguarding. We do however set out some high
level expectations in GMP that are relevant.

In paragraph 25 of GMP we say:

 

You must take prompt action if you think that patient safety, dignity or
comfort is or may be seriously compromised.

 

a. If a patient is not receiving basic care to meet their needs, you must
immediately tell someone who is in a position to act straight away.

b. If patients are at risk because of inadequate premises, equipment*or
other resources, policies or systems, you should put the matter right if
that is possible. You must raise your concern in line with our guidance11
and your workplace policy. You should also make a record of the steps you
have taken.

c. If you have concerns that a colleague may not be fit to practise and
may be putting patients at risk, you must ask for advice from a colleague,
your defence body or us. If you are still concerned you must report this,
in line with our guidance and your workplace policy, and make a record of
the steps you have taken.11, 12

 

In paragraph 27 we say ‘Whether or not you have vulnerable adults or
children and young people as patients, you should consider their needs and
welfare and offer them help if you think their rights have been abused or
denied.’

 

We also advise doctors that ‘you must keep up to date with, and follow,
the law, our guidance and other regulations relevant to their work’
(paragraph 12). This is especially important as there are different legal
requirements to report abuse across the four countries of the UK. We also
expect them to follow the written adult safeguarding policy where they
work, as supported by robust procedures.

 

Our explanatory guidance on confidentiality includes advice on disclosures
where adults may be the subject of abuse or neglect. This guidance seeks
to ensure that a balance is struck between respecting a patient’s right to
make their own decisions about disclosure of information and protecting a
patient and others from the risk of serious harm.

 

Where a doctor believes a patient lacks the capacity to consent to
disclosing information we say that ‘if you believe that a patient may be a
victim of neglect or physical, sexual or emotional abuse, you must give
information promptly to an appropriate responsible person or authority’
(paragraph 63).

 

If a patient does have the capacity to make his or her own decisions about
sharing information, and refuses permission, then ordinarily doctors
should respect that decision. At paragraphs 51-52 of the guidance we
advise doctors to encourage such patients to consent to disclosures that
they consider necessary for their protection, and to warn them of the
risks of refusing to consent. But we also advise doctors that they should
usually abide by a competent adult patient’s refusal to consent to
disclosure, even if their decision leaves them, but nobody else, at risk
of serious harm. Our advice to doctors in such cases is to be alert to
signs that patients may be at risk of harm, and to provide what support
they can.  This might include providing patients with information that
helps them to make their own decisions, and encouraging them to seek help
from, or allow the medical team to share information with, agencies that
can provide help and support.

 

It may however be necessary to disclose information to protect others if
‘a failure to do so may expose others to the risk of death or serious
harm’. When victims of violence refuse police assistance, disclosure may
still be justified if others remain at risk, for example, from someone who
is prepared to use weapons, or from domestic violence where children or
others may be at risk’ (paragraphs 53-54).

 

We extend on this in paragraph 55, where we say ‘if a patient’s refusal to
consent to disclosure leaves others exposed to a risk so serious that it
outweighs the patient’s and the public interest in maintaining
confidentiality, or if it is not practicable or safe to seek the patient’s
consent, you should disclose information promptly to an appropriate person
or authority. You should inform the patient before disclosing the
information, if practicable and safe, even if you intend to disclose
without their consent.’

 

We expect doctors to follow our guidance Raising and acting on concerns
about patient safety if they have reason to believe that systems,
policies, procedures or colleagues are, or may be, placing patients at
risk of harm.

 

Copies of GMP and our Confidentiality guidance are attached. The guidance
on our Good Medical Practice is available at
[1]http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethical_g....

 

I hope this format of information is appropriate for you but if you need
this information in any other format appropriate for you then please let
me know.

 

Kind regards

 

Syed Hamdani

Information Access Officer

Resources and Quality Assurance Directorate

 

Direct Line: 0161 240 8207

Email:        shamdani@gmc-uk.org

Website:    www.gmc-uk.org

Address:    Information Access Team

                 General Medical Council

                 3 Hardman Street

                 Manchester

                 M3 3AW

 

 

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Dear Syed Hamdani (0161 240 8207),

F15/6935/SH

Thank you for your response today, and following our discussion for agreeing to send me the three documents you have identified as being relevant to my request.

I shall contact the other number in the GMC you gave me next week after receiving the documents.

You were very helpful

Yours sincerely,

Steven King

Syed Hamdani (0161 240 8207), General Medical Council

Dear Mr King

 

Thank you for your email.

 

I have now sent the three guidance documents in post.

 

Kind regards

 

Syed Hamdani

Information Access Officer

Resources and Quality Assurance Directorate

 

Direct Line: 0161 240 8207

Email:        shamdani@gmc-uk.org

Website:    www.gmc-uk.org

Address:    Information Access Team

                 General Medical Council

                 3 Hardman Street

                 Manchester

                 M3 3AW

 

 

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Dear Syed Hamdani (0161 240 8207),

F15/6935/SH

I wish you a nice weekend, and thank you again.

I hope raising the concerns with the GMC that I have regarding the GPs involved will be as straight forward .

Yours sincerely,

Steven King

D. Speers left an annotation ()

Kooks like a successful outcome Mr King.
I wish you well with progress,

Steven King left an annotation ()

Thank you D Speers for your kind annotation.

Yes - but this is one of those cases where " What is says on the tin " is NOT what you actually receive !

What chance do I as a very ill disabled person getting his 'Rights' against a number of GPs who choose to ignore their duties and subject me to years more of secondary abuse ??

Dear Syed Hamdani (0161 240 8207),

F15/6935/SH

I am sorry if you did not receive my two messages left with other staff when I rang your number.

I have been told to gain a clearer understanding of your response to me as it appears some very important information has not been disclosed to me.

Where it is likely only a very short response on your part will be required, I trust you will be willing to assist without delaying the process ?

I remain very ill, too ill to progress matters before today .

I am a vulnerable adult, and currently suffering abuse and neglect and wish to raise concerns under Adult Safeguarding procedures within the NHS - my Council fails to act on the concerns and alerts it has received about me from other professionals - I believe there is a ' cover up ' in place - a bit like those we read about in the newspapers these days !

I divided my request into four sections, clearly asking about a number of circumstances.

The part I am requesting a further response to is with regard to the GPs who are acting in an official GP capacity - but are NOT my own GP that I am registered with and PLEASE will you provide me with a totally clear response on this matter ?

Would you also be kind enough to send me the contact telephone number you gave me to report the GPs involved - as they have chosen to subject me to secondary abuse by failing to act .

Your early response would be very much appreciated,

Yours sincerely,

Steven King

Syed Hamdani (0161 240 8207), General Medical Council

Dear Mr King

 

Your Information Request - F15/6935/SH

 

Thank you for your email below of 6 May 2015.

 

In my original response I said, ‘Our core guidance Good medical practice
(GMP) describes what is expected of all registered doctors in the UK…… We
therefore do not have guidance specifically for GPs on their duties in
relation to adult safeguarding. We do however set out some high level
expectations in GMP that are relevant.’ 

 

Hence the information I supplied is applicable to all registered doctors
and therefore would apply whether the doctor in question was your GP or
not.

 

I hope this information will help.

 

Kind regards

 

Syed Hamdani

Information Access Officer

Resources and Quality Assurance Directorate

 

Direct Line: 0161 240 8207

Email:        shamdani@gmc-uk.org

Website:    www.gmc-uk.org

Address:    Information Access Team

                 General Medical Council

                 3 Hardman Street

                 Manchester

                 M3 3AW

 

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Dear Syed Hamdani (0161 240 8207),

Thank you for the clarification I sought.

One of the GPs involved will not now re arrange a meeting I had booked with him
requested last year, and arranged to take place 4+months ago.

Maybe we can conclude this FOIA request if you will kindly supply the direct line phone number
I asked for as it appears necessary to report this high ranking GP ?
Yours sincerely,

Steven King

Syed Hamdani (0161 240 8207), General Medical Council

Dear Mr King

 

Your information request - F15/6935/SH

 

Thank you for your further email below.

 

If you have concerns about a doctor and you wish to convey these to the
GMC you can do so in a number of ways. You can submit your concerns online
by visiting our web pages at [1]http://www.gmc-uk.org/concerns/index.asp.
Alternatively, if you prefer to speak to someone by phone then please ring
our Contact Centre on 0161 923 6602 and a member of the team will be able
to help.

 

I hope this information will help.

 

Kind regards

 

Syed Hamdani

Information Access Officer

Resources and Quality Assurance Directorate

 

Direct Line: 0161 240 8207

Email:        shamdani@gmc-uk.org

Website:    www.gmc-uk.org

Address:    Information Access Team

                 General Medical Council

                 3 Hardman Street

                 Manchester

                 M3 3AW

 

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Dear Syed Hamdani (0161 240 8207),

Re F15 / 6935 / SH

Thank you again for supplying this information which I trust will assist me in reaching a long overdue conclusion to these matters.

Yours sincerely,

Steven King