Review of GMC's failure to strike off Dr Jane Barton.

The request was successful.

Dear General Medical Council,

In view of the findings of the recent report into patient deaths at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital, will the GMC be reviewing the decision not to remove Dr Jane Barton from the medical register? Will there be any further hearings in relation to her fitness to practice, given that she is implicated in the deaths of over 600 patients?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-44...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06...

How can the GMC justify the failures that have occurred to date and for which they are responsible?

Yours faithfully,

John Golding

FOI, General Medical Council

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FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Mr Golding

 

Your information request - F18/9618/MM

 

Thank you for your email dated 28 June 2018.

 

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

 

Matthew McCoig-Lees will be handling your request. If you have any
questions you can call him on 0161 923 6579 or email him at
[1][email address].

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Loredana Cojan

 

Information Access Assistant

[2][email address]

 

0161 240 8189

 

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

 

 

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Matthew McCoig-Lees (0161 923 6579), General Medical Council

Dear Mr Golding

 

I write further to previous correspondence. Before providing a response to
your questions it may be helpful to set out the background to this matter.

 

Background

 

Dr Barton was the subject of a Fitness to Practise Panel (FTPP) hearing
(now Medical Practitioners Tribunal) in 2009-10. The FTPP found Dr Barton
guilty of serious professional misconduct, but made the decision to impose
conditions on her registration for three years, rather than suspending or
erasing her from the register. The FTPP found that there had been
instances when Dr Barton’s acts and omissions put patients at increased
risk of premature death. They concluded that Dr Barton’s serious
professional misconduct was such that it was necessary to take action
against her registration. But they were satisfied that conditions on Dr
Barton’s registration would be sufficient ‘both to maintain public
confidence in the profession and uphold proper standards of conduct and
behaviour.’

 

The GMC had sought her erasure from the register. After the hearing the
GMC took the unprecedented step of issuing a press statement expressing
surprise at the decision reiterating that erasure would have been the
appropriate sanction.

 

The GMC had no power at the time to appeal the decision. The Council for
Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (the predecessor of the Professional
Standards Authority) had a right of appeal but chose not to appeal this
case. If this happened today the GMC would almost certainly appeal.

 

Dr Barton was granted voluntary erasure from the Register the year after
the hearing concluded. Given that the GMC was not able to appeal Dr
Barton’s sanction of conditions, we considered granting her voluntary
erasure was the safest outcome to protect patients.

 

You may also be interested to know that in recent years we’ve taken action
to improve how we work with individual patients and their families,
doctors and other organisations involved in complaints. These reforms
already address many of the issues highlighted by the report, by ensuring
that our fitness to practice processes and investigations are carried out
quickly and fairly. We can provide further detail if this would be of
interest to you.

 

Response

 

The purpose of a Medical Practitioners Tribunal is to determine if action
needs to be taken against a doctor’s registration. As Dr Barton is no
longer registered with the GMC, in relation to your first two questions,
we are unable by law to review the hearing or hold further hearings.

 

In your final question you are asking the GMC to provide a comment, rather
than information that we hold. Therefore, in accordance with section 1(1)
of the FOIA, we do not hold this information. However, you may wish to see
the statement issued from our Chief Executive, Charlie Massey, following
the report’s publication on 20 January:

 

‘Our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their loved ones,
following simply unacceptable treatment at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
Patients and their families were clearly let down by the system, and that
is not good enough. This has been an extremely difficult and protracted
process for each family involved.

 

We welcome the work that Bishop James Jones and his panel carried out to
oversee the maximum possible disclosure of information around the care of
patients at the hospital over two decades.

 

We will be studying the report carefully to identify learning points.  We
are committed to taking any further action necessary in light of
information revealed by this report.’

 

I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any concerns about
the way I have handled your request, please contact me and I’ll either
respond directly or pass this issue onto my manager for review.

 

Kind Regards

 

Matt

 

Matthew McCoig-Lees

Information Access Officer

Information Access Team

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

Email: [1][email address]

Website: www.gmc-uk.org

Tel: 0161 923 6579

 

From: loredana.cojan On Behalf Of FOI
Sent: 28 June 2018 12:46
To: John Golding
Cc: Matthew McCoig-Lees (0161 923 6579)
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Review of GMC's failure to
strike off Dr Jane Barton.

 

Dear Mr Golding

 

Your information request - F18/9618/MM

 

Thank you for your email dated 28 June 2018.

 

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

 

Matthew McCoig-Lees will be handling your request. If you have any
questions you can call him on 0161 923 6579 or email him at
[2][email address].

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Loredana Cojan

 

Information Access Assistant

[3][email address]

 

0161 240 8189

 

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

 

 

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