Recovered Memory Therapy and False Memory Syndrome (GMC)

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, General Medical Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear General Medical Council,

I would like to know, if possible, whether the General Medical Council (GMC) has ever received complaints from patients that have received treatment involving Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT) that has lead to False Memory Syndrome (FMS).

For the purposes of my request RMT techniques include any of the following: check lists, drug-induced abreaction, hypnosis, age regression, dream interpretation, survivors groups and bibliotherapy.

If the GMC does have information regarding FMS, and allegations made by patients following RMT, is the GMC able to provide information on -

Does the GMC have information concerning reports of patients experiencing false memories following RMT, or other treatments, between 1985 and 1998?
Has the GMC ever 'struck off' a doctor for being responsibly for a patient experiencing false memories?
Has the GMC warned doctors not to provide RMT as a treatment to patients seeking help with medical and mental health problems?

Yours faithfully,

LJ Brogan

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.
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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.

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear LJ Brogan

 

Your information request – F17/9116/LG

 

Thank you for your email dated 14 September.

 

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

Sadie Jones

Information Access Officer

[2][email address]

0161 250 6889

 

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

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Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311), General Medical Council

Our reference: F17/9116/LG

 

Dear LJ Brogan

 

Thank you for your email dated 14 September 2017, in which you request
information about complaints received from patients that have received
treatment involving Recovered Memory Therapy that has led to False Memory
Syndrome. Your request has been considered in accordance with the access
provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

 

I would not be able to identify from an electronic search of our database,
the information you require, as we do not categorise complaints in such a
way which allow me to capture those relating to patients that have
received treatment involving Recovered Memory Therapy. I would have to
manually read through a complaint to determine this.

 

Under the FOIA there’s an exemption for requests where it would cost the
public authority more than £450 to process - equivalent to two and half
day’s work. 

 

In 2015 alone there were approximately 2240 complaints received, which
were promoted to a full investigation, in order to determine how many
related to patients who have received treatment involving Recovered Memory
Therapy, I would have to read through the complaint.

 

We have calculated it would take around 10 minutes to read through each
case to establish if it fits your criteria. 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 approximately £9325 just to
check the 2015 cases. Your request would therefore cost us in excess of
the ‘appropriate limit’ to process. 

The exemption 

Under the FOIA, the specific exemption which we believe applies is at
section 12. This states that we are not required comply with a request if
we estimate that the cost of doing so would exceed the appropriate limit. 

Your right to appeal

I'm sorry I couldn’t provide the information you 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
[1][email address]

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

Kind regards

 

Louise

 

Louise Gormley

Information Access Officer
Resources and Quality Assurance Directorate
 
Direct Line: 0161 923 6311
Email:        [2][email address]
Website:    [3]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.

Dear Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311),

Thank you for your reply.

I understand that my request was quite broad and I was not sure if the GMC catalogued complaints according to keywords or terms so I appreciate my request was a speculative one.

If I was to make a request for a specific time period, e.g. 1992, and a specific Trust/Partnership/Clinical Commissioning Group e.g. Dartford and Swanley Community Mental Health Services would the GMC have a record of any complaints made against that particular service thus narrowing the results?

Thank you in advance for any information that you can provide in regards to this new request.

Yours sincerely,

LJ Brogan

Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311), General Medical Council

Dear LJ Brogan

Thank you for your email below. We investigate complaints about doctors, not services or Trusts. We can however, search complaints about doctors by the referring organisation and incident location.

Our current database system goes back to 2006, so we would only be able to electronically capture data from this date.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards

Louise

Louise Gormley
Information Access Officer
Resources and Quality Assurance 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

Dear Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311),

Thank you for your reply.

As your database system has information from 2006 to the present I was wondering if pre 2006 information has now been destroyed or is it possible to find out if a particular doctor has received a complaint between 2001 and 2005 from another public body/trust/organisation/group/etc.

Yours sincerely,

LJ Brogan

Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311), General Medical Council

Thanks for your email. I'm out of the office until Thursday 19 October
with no access to email - if your query is urgent, please contact a member
of the Information Access Team on 0161 923 6365 or email [1][GMC request email]

 

Otherwise I'll get back to you as soon as possible when I return.

Best wishes,
Louise

 

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.

Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311), General Medical Council

Dear LJ Brogan

Thank you for your email. Complaints/allegations from 2001 to 2006 cannot be electronically captured and would involve manual checking.

I can confirm that we can search for an individual doctor.

Kind regards

Louise

Louise Gormley
Information Access Officer
Resources and Quality Assurance 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

Dear Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311),

Thank you for your reply.

Is there an email address that I can send a list of doctors to, along with their place of work at the time, to discover if any complaints have been made about them?

I'd rather not make that information available online.

Yours sincerely,

LJ Brogan

Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311), General Medical Council

Dear LJ Brogan

Thank you for your email. You can send your request to [GMC request email]

Kind regards

Louise

Louise Gormley
Information Access Officer
Resources and Quality Assurance 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

Dear Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311),

Thank you for your reply, unfortunately WDTK has blocked your email.

I will see if I am able to find your email on the GMC website.

Yours sincerely,

LJ Brogan

Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311), General Medical Council

Thanks for your email. I'm out of the office until Monday 30 October with
no access to email - if your query is urgent, please contact a member of
the Information Access Team on 0161 923 6365 or email [1][GMC request email]

 

Otherwise I'll get back to you as soon as possible when I return.

Best wishes,
Louise

 

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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