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The GMC’s published response to fitness to practise proposals

In February 2016 we published a bulletin on the proposals being considered by the GMC’s Council in light of the consultation on publication of fitness to practise information. You can read that bulletin by clicking here.

The Council have now considered the proposals and published its final response to the consultation confirming the changes it intends to introduce. The full report on the consultation can be accessed here.

Key changes

  • Information about a doctor’s fitness to practise will no longer be published indefinitely on the GMC’s website. The specific time limits discussed in our previous briefing have not been formally adopted. The GMC has indicated that it will give further consideration to this issue and that developments can be expected later this year.
  • Fitness to practise information will cease to be published after a doctor has died. Such information will be disclosed on request within the generally applicable time limits.
  • The GMC’s web-based database will publish more detailed information in cases where a doctor successfully appeals a sanction and where undertakings are agreed which restrict a doctor’s practise without a fitness to practise hearing.
  • Fitness to practise information will no longer be disclosed to prospective employers. However the GMC will continue to disclose as part of the post appointment checks once an offer of employment is accepted.

What proposals have been abandoned?

The GMC has decided not to add sanctions imposed during 1994 – 2005 to the online medical register.


A number of consultation responses raised concerns about the impact on registrants of prolonged publication of historic restrictions which had been imposed on health grounds. Although the GMC has agreed that indefinite publication of fitness to practise to histories should come to an end, it has not yet addressed the obvious question of where or how the duration of publication should be determined. That decision will merit close scrutiny to ensure that it takes appropriate account of registrant’s rights under the European Convention and EU data protection law.

You can read the current GMC Publication and Disclosure Policy here.

For more information please contact:

Stewart Duffy

T. 020 7227 7418


This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.

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