Dear General Medical Council,

I previously asked (18/01/13*) in a request via this channel:

In cases where the death of a GP patient was involved, data for the last 2 complete previous years on the number of cases [of patient death] NB brought to your attention; the number of cases in which the GPs were investigated or not investigated (i.e. did or did not meet your investigation 'threshold'); the number of cases with action taken (i.e. reprimand or stronger); and those 'no further action'. I asked also if ever a 'recommendation' was made to the GP (or Practice); or was recorded for further scrutiny.

Your substantive reply was that the information was not easily retrievable without individual GP or case record retrieval.

I later asked (25/10/13), if any method, scheme or system had been initiated, to collect detailed case data such as requested above, to give better understanding of Practitioner failures? (Q-1)

Your response was 'Information not held” which you allowed me to understand as “there is no system”.

I would now like to know if the situation had changed since that response (22/11/13). Therefore, may I ask again the request phrased at Q-1 above, plus:

(Q-2) Can you give me sight of any process which would assist you in identifying failing practitioners, that was pre-emptive rather that reactive?

I consider this an important point since where a GP's methods are only reactive, and your monitoring is only reactive, I would like to understand how you might identify problem areas with GPs except after failure and harm has been caused, when records might only then be brought out for examination.

(*ref: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p... )

Thank you,

C Rock

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Mr Rock

Your information request F15/6965/RW

Thank you for your email of 16 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 Rebecca Wild. If you have any questions, please contact her on 0161 923 6416 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

show quoted sections

Courtney Brucato (0161 923 6692), General Medical Council

1 Attachment

Our reference: F15/6965/RW

Dear Mr Rock,

Please find attached our response to your recent FOI request. 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

show quoted sections

Dear GMC,

Thank you for your reply but I’m finding it difficult to understand.

In my first question you have again said—effectively—that you confirm that you do not have any system for ‘pulling-out’ figures for GP patient deaths. So a GP’s patient death rate, for instance, can have no part in any re-assessment, or give rise to suspicion for investigation. Thank you; please clarify if this is not what you intended to convey.

Following on from this I appear to have been given a bland answer conveying that you have no pre-emptive or proactive system for validating GPs competence.

I have read your referenced documentation for “GP appraisal and revalidation”. You have said it is up to the GP to demonstrate… that they remain… fit to practise. You have —effectively— said a GP’s competence is conveyed to you from the GP’s submissions: essentially relying on a GPs own account of quality, and own “Supporting information”. It appears to me that the submission might, if so composed—through intention or incompetence—be highly selective to ensure re-validation; and unlikely to be admitting much in negligence in care, documentation or rigour in investigation of complaint.

I do not wish to appear too cynical (by asking reasonable questions?), but I am even now more confused and concerned, especially since I know that you have been informed of (from your own criteria) possible un-reported and un-remedied ‘Significant events’, evidenced negative ‘Feedback from patients’, and mishandled serious ‘Complaints’ on which you took no action. And you lack key measures. The ‘circle’ is not closed in these matters by either the GP or yourselves, and I can not envisage that waiting for a GP to report themselves as ‘probably unfit to practice’, is a satisfactory process, in my view.

If there are any aspects of this on which you wish to communicate to me privately, please do so, otherwise a clarification via this channel may be useful to others.

Thank you for your response.
Yours sincerely,

C Rock

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

There are hearings and decisions .. If that is any use...

http://www.mpts-uk.org/calendar/

Presumably an interested party could wade through them and see if the same names keep reappearing.

But they don't seem to log individual doctor's patient death rates.

Courtney Brucato (0161 923 6692), General Medical Council

Our reference: F15/6965/RW

Dear Mr Rock,

Thank you for your email below, I'm sorry for the delay in acknowledging it. I am currently looking into the points you have raised and hope to respond to you tomorrow.

Yours sincerely,

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

show quoted sections

Courtney Brucato (0161 923 6692), General Medical Council

Our reference: F15/6965/RW

Dear Mr Rock,

I will be out of the office now until Tuesday and will respond to your email when I return.

Yours sincerely

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

show quoted sections

Courtney Brucato (0161 923 6692), General Medical Council

1 Attachment

Our reference: F15/6965/RW

Dear Mr Rock,

Please find attached our response to your recent request. 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

show quoted sections

Dear Courtney Brucato (0161 923 6692),

Thank you for this information and I will consider the FOI request closed "information provided" though somewhat unsatisfactorily as to content. I'm not convinced you have shown the system is working as it relies on many conditionals of what 'should' happen if all the provisions work as intended e.g. via your certain 'other checks', and what a Practitioner may choose to show or 'mask' in any submissions they make. I suspect this happens through lack of candour, and I feel there may be shortcomings in any system which can not quickly show some important facts and indicators as to ongoing confidence in a GP, for instance.

Thank you for your responses
Yours sincerely,
C Rock

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