GMC publication: Huge benefits for adverse health cases
The General Medical Council (GMC) has announced approval for revised time limits for the publication of fitness to practise information on the online list of registered medical practitioners. The revised time limits will come into force in early 2017. The full list of those times may be accessed here.
The changes represent significant improvements for registrants who have been the subject of regulatory action solely on the basis of adverse physical or mental health. Under the new policy a practitioner who is the subject of a finding of impairment on those grounds, without any restriction being imposed on their registration, no record of that finding will be published on the online register. For registrants who have been the subject of suspension, conditions or undertakings solely on the grounds of adverse health, details of that history will be removed from the online register as soon as the sanction expires or is revoked. The approach is consistent with the underlying principle that sanctions will be discontinued when a registrant’s fitness to practise is no longer impaired.
The changes will undoubtedly be welcomed by those who face regulatory proceedings because of ill health. The consultation process undertaken by the GMC identified concerns about the perpetuation of stigma, particularly in respect of mental health, by virtue of its current policy of indefinite publication. These changes reflect a variety of steps the GMC has been taking in recent times in order to review its processes and the impact they have on practitioners.
We published a bulletin on the proposals being considered by the Council in February 2016 which can be read by clicking here. We also considered their final response to the consultation within a briefing dated March 2016 which can be read by clicking here.
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