Dear General Medical Council,

In decision notice FS50872018, the Information Commissioner refers to your policy of limiting the time that MPTS decisions concerning delinquent doctors are made available to the public:

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

Paragraph 46 states:

"However, the GMC went on to note that in February 2018, it had revised its previous policy and now only published Determinations for a year – although the summary information on the register was retained for much longer. In this particular case, the GMC noted that the summary information relating to the Doctor is still available."

1. Please provide copies of the revised policy and the policy that was revised.

2. Please provide all information held that informed the revision e.g emails, notes, minutes etc.

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

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.

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FOI, General Medical Council

Dear J Roberts,

Your information request - IR1-2534125301

Thank you for your email dated 5 December, in which you ask for copies of
the original policy, the revised policy and all information held that
informed the revision in relation to the GMC policy of limiting the time
that MPTS decisions concerning delinquent doctors are made available to
the public. I’m sorry for the delay in acknowledging your request, this is
due to a significant amount of requests being received.

 

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

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

 

Yours sincerely

 

Lauren Barrowcliffe
Information Access Team Assistant

 

[2][email address]

0161 240 8356

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

 

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Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311), General Medical Council

Dear Mr Roberts

Thank you for your request. I apologise for the delay in responding. I am still working on your request and will respond soon.

Kind regards

Louise

Louise Gormley
Information Access Officer
Resources Directorate

Direct Line: 0161 923 6311
Email: [email address]
Website: www.gmc-uk.org
Address: Information Access Team
General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW

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Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311), General Medical Council

3 Attachments

Our reference: IR1-2534125301

 

Dear Mr Roberts

 

Thank you for your request for information about the policy change we made
in February 2018 relating to our publication and disclosure policy. 

 

Please find below responses to each of your requests:

 

Please provide copies of the revised policy and the policy that was
revised.

 

Attached is the current policy, the February 2018 Policy and the one prior
, dated September 2017.

 

Please note the change made in 2018 related to information published on
our online register. Rather than determinations being published
indefinitely they will be on a doctor’s online record for a time limited
period.

 

Please provide all information held that informed the revision e.g emails,
notes, minutes etc. 

 

I provide links below to our council papers in 2016 which contain
information on the outcome of our consultation, proposed recommendations,
and Council decisions:

 

[1]Feb 2016

[2]April 2016

 

And below are links to the council paper minutes, which set out those
decisions following each paper:

 

[3]Minutes-of-the-meeting-on-25-february-2016_pdf-65709955.pdf - paras 17
& 18

 

[4]Minutes-of-the-meeting-on-19-april-2016_pdf-66388267.pdf - paras 14 -
16

 

 

To provide ALL information held relating to the decision, emails, notes
etc I believe to be exempt from disclosure.

 

The exemption

 

Section 12 of the FOIA allows a public authority not to undertake a search
for the information requested where they estimate that the cost of
complying with the request for information would exceed the ‘appropriate
limit’. The Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit)
Regulations 2004 have set the ‘appropriate limit’ at £450 for public
authorities such as the GMC. This is equivalent to two and a half days
work. In estimating the cost the public authority can take into account
the cost of determining, locating, retrieving and extracting the
information requested. We reserve the right to refuse requests that would
cost in excess of this limit and will significantly impact on our
business.

 

We would have to locate, retrieve and check four years’ worth of
correspondence, 2012 – 2016 to identify the information you request, one
folder entitled 2015/2016 contains over 100 items to review, to review one
item would take approximately 20 minutes, to review 100, would take
approximately 33 hours. (This doesn’t include the other folders and staff
emails etc) 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 £825. Your request would therefore cost us significantly in
excess of the ‘appropriate limit’ to process.  

Your right to appeal

I hope the information provided is useful. I am sorry I have been unable
to provide all the information you have requested. You can appeal against
this decision to Julian Graves, Information Access Manager.  If you want
to appeal, please set out your reasons and email
[5][email address]

 

You can also appeal to the Information Commissioner, the regulator of the
FOIA– I can provide more details about this if you need them.

 

Kind regards

 

Louise

 

Louise Gormley

Information Access Officer
Resources Directorate
 
Direct Line: 0161 923 6311
Email:        [6][email address]
Website:    [7]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.

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J Roberts left an annotation ()

Although Section 12 has been invoked, I have been provided with sufficient information.

Publication and Disclosure Policy

"We have a statutory duty under section 35B(4) of the Medical Act 1983 (the Act) to publish, in such a manner AS WE SEE FIT, a range of decisions by medical practitioners tribunals, interim orders tribunals and investigation committees, and undertakings agreed with doctors." (emphasis added) p.4

“These decisions are published on the MPTS website for one year. This page also contains hearing decisions that do not result in the issue of a warning or a finding of impairment (or a finding of non-compliance at a non-compliance hearing) although these are not published on the GMC’s online medical register.” p.6

From minutes of meeting 25 February 2016:

https://www.gmc-uk.org/-/media/documents...

18 Council:
a Approved the consultation recommendations, subject to further consideration of how time limits would be applied in circumstances where a doctor had been subject to fitness to practise procedures on more than one occasion.

B Historical data from 1994-2005 would not be transferred to the online register, subject to further consideration of how it would be applied in circumstances where a doctor had been subject to fitness to practise procedures on more than one occasion, within the agreed time limits.

From the minutes of meeting 19 April 2016:

https://www.gmc-uk.org/-/media/documents...

14. Council considered a report on options for the time limits on publication and disclosure of fitness to practise sanctions, developed in response to issues raised when the outcome of the consultation on changes to the GMC’s publication and disclosure policy was considered at its meeting on 25 February 2016.

Report on doctors being struck off the register:

https://theovertake.com/~beta/struck-off/