Whistle-blowing. Human Rights and Education of Fitness to Practice Panelists

Helen Bright 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.

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,

1. What education if any do Fitness to Practice Panelists receive from GMC to enable them to deal with whistle-blowers when they appear before them?

2. What Human Rights training do Fitness to Practice Panelists receive from GMC?

3. Do Fitness to Practice Panelists receive any education or tests regarding their knowledge of United Nations Declaration on protection of Human Rights Defenders?

Yours faithfully,

Helen Bright

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Dr Bright

Information request F11/3522/LG

Thank you for your e-mail of 23 January 2011 in which you request
information in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

We will consider your request and you will normally receive the
information you seek within the 20 working day limit set by the FOIA.

The FOIA lists a number of exemptions that may prevent the release of
part, or all, of the information that you have requested. We will make
an assessment of the requested information and if it is subject to an
exemption you will be informed of this, together with details of your
right of appeal.

Your request has been allocated to Louise Gormley. If you have any
queries concerning your request you can contact Ms Gormley on 0161 923
6311 or email [email address].

Yours sincerely

Sarah Leigh
Information Access Team Administrator
0161 923 6398
[email address]

General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW

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Dear FOI,

According to my calculations the reply should have come long ago as I suspect that there is no training whatsoever on these issues and Ms Grazella Oragano, Head of Empaneling does not want to give you the answer.

Has she gone on a sick leave now that these questions are asked?

I therefore, request internal review for the non-provision of the answers within the specified time under Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Bright

Dear FOI,

Could you, please comply with the request under FOIA?

Do you have this information or not?

According to my calculations 20 working days have passed from the time when original request was made.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Bright

Dear FOI,

I have asked for information some time ago. I know by law you have twenty working days to reply. I apologise if I asked for internal review too soon.

However, by my calculations it is over forty days now since the request was made in January. Will it take you much longer?

Yours sincerely,

Helen Bright

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Dr Bright

Information request - F11/3522/LG

Thank you for your email of 19 April 2011. I am replying you acknowledge
your email on Louise Gormley's behalf as she is currently on leave until
3rd May.

My apologies for the delay you have experienced with this request,
however, as I have no involvement in the request, I am unable to comment
on the reasons for this. If you would like to contact the Information
Access Manager, Mr Julian Graves, to discuss this then please contact
him on 0161 923 6351 or email [email address].

Please note though that Mr Graves is also currently on leave and will
return on Tuesday 26 April.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Leigh
Information Access Team Administrator
0161 923 6398
[email address]

General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW

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Dear Ms Leigh,

Thank you for the reply and apology.

Could you, please get a reply from eg Ms Graziella Oragano who is in charge of Fitness to Practice panelists to obtain required information?

Yours sincerely,

Dr Helen Bright

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Dr Bright

Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately, it is only Ms Gormley who can deal with your request. I
have no authority to obtain or disclose the information you have
requested.

I understand the delay is frustrating but please be assured that Ms
Gormley will respond to your request as soon as possible on her return.

Please note that I have copied Mr Graves into this email so that he is
aware of the issue.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Leigh
Information Access Team Administrator
0161 923 6398
[email address]

General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW

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Dear Ms Leigh,

Could you, please, obtain authorization from the Chief Executive Mr Nial Dickson?

I have written to him already today.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Bright

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Dr Bright

I am afraid it would not be possible to obtain authorisation from the
Chief Executive and I am unable to help any further with your request.

As stated previously, Mr Graves can look into the delay on his return
from leave.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Leigh
Information Access Team Administrator
0161 923 6398
[email address]

General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW

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Julian Graves (0161 923 6351), General Medical Council

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Bright

Please find attached our response to your request.

Yours sincerely

Julian Graves

Julian Graves
Information Access Manager
General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW

Tel. no: 0161 923 6351
Email: [email address]

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Dear Julian Graves (0161 923 6351),

Thank you for your reply.

I have already made complaints to Information Commissioner because of the breaches of FOIA by GMC before I got your reply. After making a verbal complaint to Information Commissioner I did my best to speed up the response from GMC, but evidently I was not successful. After that I made a written complaint.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Bright

Sarah Daniels left an annotation ()

What we must also remember that "fitness to practice" affects your future livehood of that person to make a living. So those who are on pannels and have to make such decisions must or "should" understand that before they engage in any adverse finding against the practitioner MUST have regard to Article 6 of the HRA regaring a "fair hearing."

Now thsi begs the all important issue of what training do they get before they go on such panels. Making adverse findings - based on HEARSAY EVIDENCE- is an abuse of the process of law,unfair and disproportionate.

Also it is a waste of admin time, money and only go to fuel more anger!

This resilts in ther "system" being clogged up with appeals, more money and invariably stress for the practitioner.

Go on and ask further questions andf if you get no joy then take it to the Information Commissioner for a determination and eventually to the Tribunal. Unless there is a ruling it will go on and on.

Best of luck but keep at it!
Sarah

Helen Bright left an annotation ()

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your support.

Information Commissioner upheld my complaint.

Here are some statistics since 2004 and up to end of May 2011:

ICO received 59 complaints about the GMC under the
Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and 64 under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 (FOIA.

Helen Bright left an annotation ()

Dear Sarah,

You are right.

One can take the issues in the County Court for damages and also in High Court.

ICO rulings are helpful as a deterrent if made public.

Dear Julian Graves (0161 923 6351),

ICO ref no: FS50389441

1. As you know my complaint to Information Commissioner's Office was upheld and they wrote to both of us on 17th June 2011. However, there is continuous non-compliance with Freedom of Information Act 2000 by General Medical Council even today 29th June 2011 despite ICO decision and the fact that you have answers to my questions which are simple and straightforward.

2. Could you please, comply with my request now and answer my questions rather than taking advocate position for Panel Development Team.

3. Please, provide the answers which would be correct at the time when the request was made.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Bright

Dear Mr Graves,

1. Could you, please state if FTP panelists received any training specifically regarding whistleblowing consequences such as institutional reprisals and requests for sham peer reviews by regulatory bodies?

2. Could you please, provide an answer that would be correct at the time the original questions were posed in January 2011.

Yours faithfully,

Helen Bright

Julian Graves (0161 923 6351), General Medical Council

Dear Dr Bright

Thank you for your email below. I recognise that our response to your
request took in excess of the 20 working day limit and that we did not
provide you with details of our internal review process. We will now
carry out an internal review. This will be carried out in line with our
comments and complaints procedure for information requests. This sets a
target response time of 20 working days. We will endeavour to respond to
you within this timeframe.

If you have any further queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate
to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Julian Graves

Julian Graves
Information Access Manager
General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW

Tel. no: 0161 923 6351
Email: [email address]

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Julian Graves (0161 923 6351), General Medical Council

Our ref: F11/3892/EH

Dear Dr Bright

Information request

Thank you for your e-mail of 29 June 2011 in which you request
information in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

We will consider your request and you will normally receive the
information you seek within the 20 working day limit set by the FOIA.

The FOIA lists a number of exemptions that may prevent the release of
part, or all, of the information that you have requested. We will make
an assessment of the requested information and if it is subject to an
exemption you will be informed of this, together with details of your
right of appeal.

Your request has been allocated to Elizabeth Hiley. If you have any
queries concerning your request you can contact Ms Hiley on 0161 923
6314 or email [email address]

Yours sincerely

Julian Graves

Julian Graves
Information Access Manager
General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW

Tel. no: 0161 923 6351
Email: [email address]

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Kevin Tarleton (0161 923 6305), General Medical Council

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Bright,

Please find attached our internal review decision.

Yours sincerely

Kevin Tarleton

Information Policy Advisor

General Medical Council

Tel: 0161 923 6305

Email: [1][email address]

Unless otherwise expressly agreed by the sender of this email, this
communication may contain privileged or confidential information which is
exempt from disclosure under UK law. This email and its attachments may
not be used or disclosed except for the purpose for which it has been
sent.

If you are not the addressee or have received this email in error, please
do not read, print, re-transmit, store or act in reliance on it or any
attachments. Instead, please email the sender and then immediately delete
it.

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street, Manchester, M3 3AW

Regents Place, 350 Euston Road, London, NW1 3JN

The Tun, 4 Jacksons Entry, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AE

Regus House, Falcon Drive, Cardiff Bay, CF10 4RU

9th Floor, Bedford House, 16-22 Bedford Street, Belfast, BT2 7FD

The GMC is a charity registered in England and Wales (1089278) and
Scotland (SC037750)

References

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Elizabeth Hiley \(0161 923 6314\), General Medical Council

Our ref: F11/3892/EH

Dear Dr Bright

Thank you for your email in which you request information relating to
the training received by Fitness to Practise Panellists. Your request
has been considered in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act
2000.

In response to this request I must refer you back to the information
provided by Mr Graves in his letter dated 28 April 2011. We do not hold
any further information regarding the specific issues you refer to of
'institutional reprisals' and 'requests for sham peer reviews'.

If you have any concerns regarding the handling of this request please
contact Julian Graves, Information Access Manager, at
[email address]. You also have a further right of appeal to the
Information Commissioner's Office. If appropriate, Mr Graves will
provide the relevant contact details.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Hiley
Information Access Officer
Tel no: 0161 923 6314
Email: [email address]

Unless otherwise expressly agreed by the sender of this email, this communication may contain privileged or confidential information which is exempt from disclosure under UK law. This email and its attachments may not be used or disclosed except for the purpose for which it has been sent.

If you are not the addressee or have received this email in error, please do not read, print, re-transmit, store or act in reliance on it or any attachments. Instead, please email the sender and then immediately delete it.

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street, Manchester, M3 3AW

Regents Place, 350 Euston Road, London, NW1 3JN

The Tun, 4 Jacksons Entry, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AE

Regus House, Falcon Drive, Cardiff Bay, CF10 4RU

9th Floor, Bedford House, 16-22 Bedford Street, Belfast, BT2 7FD

The GMC is a charity registered in England and Wales (1089278) and Scotland (SC037750)

Dear Elizabeth Hiley (0161 923 6314),

1. Have you asked Ms Graziella Oragano who is in charge of Fitness to Practise Panels if FTP are trained to understand specific issues such as institutional reprisals and requests for sham peer review?

2. Have you asked any of the FTP panelists if they received such training?

3. The information of this nature would be readily available to you if you ask considering the fact that GMC employes Ms Graziella Oragano and the fact that GMC would know how to contact FTP panelists or their trainers.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Bright

Elizabeth Hiley \(0161 923 6314\), General Medical Council

Dear Dr Bright

Thank you for your email.

I should firstly clarify that the Freedom of Information Act 2000
provides a right of access to information that is held by a public
authority. Therefore, there is no requirement on the GMC to approach the
panellists to ask whether they have received training on these issues.
An appropriate response can be provided without the need to do so.

As we can only respond in terms of information that we hold, I can only
refer you back to the information provided to you previously. In order
to clarify whether we held any information in relation to these specific
issues I brought your request to the attention of Ms Oragano who
confirmed that there was no further information we could add to our
previous response.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Hiley
Information Access Officer
Tel no: 0161 923 6314
Email: [email address]

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Dear Elizabeth Hiley (0161 923 6314,

You may wish to read about willful blindness and come back to me by the end of the day:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willful_bli...

I have spoken with Information Commissioners Office about continuing non-compliance by GMC.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Bright