Dear General Medical Council,

What is your process by which you appoint clinical experts to your panel.

What are the criteria by which you instruct an expert to provide an opinion on a doctor which you are investigating?

Is the opinion of an expert that you instruct shared with the doctor being investigated?

Who makes the decision to choose and instruct an expert?

What are your processes/ pathways following receipt of the opinion from a clinical expert?

Do you have formal guidelines or is there statute guiding the process for handling expert opinions and the further progress of the investigation ?

Yours faithfully,

Sarah J White

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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FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Ms White

Your information request – F16/7941/ME 

Thank you for your email dated 14 February asking for information
regarding our expert report process.

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

Manchester

M3 3AW

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Mark Ellen (0161 923 6347), General Medical Council

Dear Ms White

Reference: IAT/ME/F16/7941

Please see the following responses to each of the queries you raise in your e-mail of 14 February 2016. I have numbered your questions for ease of reference.

Q1. What is your process by which you appoint clinical experts to your panel?

A. Experts have historically been appointed to our approved expert list on a case by case basis. If our existing list didn’t contain an appropriate expert for a case then we’d look to add someone who had the appropriate expertise. However we have recently begun to recruit formally for certain specialties.


Q2. What are the criteria by which you instruct an expert to provide an opinion on a doctor which you are investigating?

A. Experts must be Consultants (or on the GP register) of the same specialty as the doctor under investigation, and be familiar with any specific procedures or care involved.

Q3. Is the opinion of an expert that you instruct shared with the doctor being investigated?

A. Yes

Q4. Who makes the decision to choose and instruct an expert?

A. The GMC Legal – Expert Report Team or a GMC Legal Advisor

Q5. What are your processes/ pathways following receipt of the opinion from a clinical expert?

A. This varies but very often the expert report is the final step in the first stage of a fitness to practise investigation and is followed by Rule 7 (of our Fitness to Practise Rules), disclosure, and a Case Examiner Decision to either close, warn or refer to Tribunal. Here is a link to the Fitness to Practise Rules:
http://www.gmc-uk.org/consolidated_versi...

Q6. Do you have formal guidelines or is there statute guiding the process for handling expert opinions and the further progress of the investigation ?

A. Our Standards & Guidance for experts cover all aspects of our interaction with experts. The Fitness to Practise Rules dictate the course of the investigation. You may also find the fitness to practise information relating to Investigations useful. You can view this information on our website. Here is a link to the relevant part: http://www.gmc-uk.org/concerns/the_inves....

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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