Suicides by doctors under investigation by GMC

Ruhe Chowdhury 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 partially successful.

Dear General Medical Council,

I would like to formally request a FOI on the numbers of doctors who have committed suicide whilst being investigated by the GMC.

I would like the information to the following:
1) numbers committing suicide for the last 5 years, broken down to annual numbers.
2) at what stage of the investigation prices they were when they committed suicide
3) did the GMC have any evidence, or were contacted about these doctors to suggest they were vulnerable and at risk
4) the final outcome of the GMC investigations to the complaint made.

I await to hear for you regarding the above

Yours faithfully,

Ruhe Chowdhury

FOI, General Medical Council

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Information access team

General Medical Council

Email: [GMC request email]

Telephone: 0161 923 6365

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Dr David Waghorn left an annotation ()

This information from the UK public body is required in current proceedings - which has been brought within the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg - pursuant to effective investigations under Article 2 of the European Convention.

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Dr Chowdhury


Your information request – F16/8362/ME


Thank you for your email dated 13 August asking for information in
relation to the number doctors who have committed suicide whilst under a
GMC investigation.


How we will consider your request


We’re going to look at 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


Mark Ellen will be handling your request. If you have any questions you
can call him on 0161 923 6347 or email him at [1][email address].


Yours sincerely

Miss Sadie Jones

Information Assistant

[2][email address]

0161 250 6889


General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street


M3 3AW


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Mark Ellen (0161 923 6347), General Medical Council

Dear Dr Chowdhury

Reference: IAT/ME/F16/8362

With reference to your e-mail of 13 August 2016 , I am now able to respond to your query about the number of doctors who have taken their own lives over the past 5 years whist under the GMC fitness to practise procedures.

You may be aware of the Review that the GMC published in 2014; for reference, here is a link:
Page 22 of the Review breaks the number of doctors down, by year.

The review covers the period up to 31 December 2013. In 2014 and 2015, there was one doctor who died whilst under GMC investigation and where an inquest recorded a verdict of suicide. We are aware of 2 further doctors for this period who took their own lives and who, whilst not being under GMC investigation at the time, had undertakings on their registration.

You may also be interested in reading our recently published proposals to help reduce the stress that our processes can have on doctors. Please see this link:

If a doctor with an open fitness to practise case dies, then the case is closed.

I hope that this information is helpful to you.

Kind regards
Mark Ellen

Mark Ellen
Information Access Team
General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester M3 3AW
Direct Line: 0161 923 6347

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