More faith in doctors and the General Medical Council needed

13 March 2015

This week, the Daily Mail wrote an article 'More than 1,000 doctors are still practising despite convictions for sexual assault, possessing indecent pictures of children and threats to kill'.

This is exactly the sort of inaccurate and alarmist reportage that undermines the good work that both doctors and the GMC undertake on a daily basis. Let’s start with the basics: the GMC does not have the power to remove doctors from their ‘posts’ nor can it (or should it) be responsible for informing individual patients about a doctor’s record. The decision as to whether a doctor’s fitness to practise is impaired as a result of as conviction or caution is taken by an independently appointed committee of the MPTS.  They hear all the evidence, submissions from lawyers for both sides and are skilled at weighing up very difficult and nuanced arguments whilst also being concerned for the protection of the profession’s reputation. All decisions of the MPTS are published on the website and are available for patients to see.  Had the decisions the Daily Mail referred to been considered unduly lenient, a higher level of review is possible. What the article fails to cover is the circumstances of the offences listed which may have had a bearing on the outcome of those continuing to practice. 

One final thing, Dr Bradbury was struck off by the MPTS meaning that he is no longer working as a doctor. So serious crimes do result in career bans.  Need I say more. 

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