Get Expert clinical advice and a report or be prepared to be ignored
When filing your complaint, get an expert in the same speciality you are concerned about to support your complaint. Commonly, you can provide expert opinion by the report. This may be from a previous SI or Independently sourced by the complainant (the referrer) If you don’t? Be prepared to be ignored.
As a member of the public, your opinion carries little weight. Get expert clinical advice, even when providing eyewitness accounts to the GMC of the events. There appears to be a reluctance to hear your account or view of events and in most historical cases I have gained access too, little credence is given to a medically non-qualified member of the public who reports Fitness To Practise concerns. We as a family were lucky enough to know an acute emergency medicine doctor who was an Anaesthatist. He had worked at St Georges Hospital in London and provided our family with a detailed clinical report based on his opinion.
If the evidence from the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust had been relied upon, my complaint would have gone no further. As it was the GMC did overly rely upon these SI reports and later make an admission that the evidence was flawed.
They apologised and recognised they never followed their own guidance or process.
Our family friend provided a report and letter. He later provided a chronology of events which in his opinion led or contributed to my daughter’s catastrophic outcome. Much of his report was supported by the GMC’s own Cardiology expert. He opined that the care ‘fell seriously below the expected standard of a reasonably competent X” But his opinion was ignored and not initially considered by the GMC case examiners.
The GMC Assistant Registrar also ignored conflicts in the evidence and somehow concluded that case examiners had carried out a thorough and robust investigation. My daughter’s case was closed with advice.
I remained deeply concerned by the regulator’s apparent refusal to listen and ignorance of their own guidance. In their own document DC4592 the GMC state case examiners, should not, however, normally seek to resolve substantial conflicts of evidence. Should proceed with caution (given that, among other considerations, the case examiners are working from documents alone and the evidence before them may be untested) Should be slower to halt a complaint against a practitioner who continues to practise than against one who does not;
This guidance highlighter is was not the case examiners job to resolve conflicts in the evidence base.
If GMC expert opinion conflicted with the Doctors opinion and my own independent opinion, it was not the case examiners job to resolve such conflicts in the evidence.
if in doubt, should consider whether any further investigation is appropriate and in any event should lean in favour of allowing the complaint to proceed to a medical practitioners tribunal;
These observations and breaches of the GMC regulatory authorities own guidance took another two years to bring to the GMC’s attention and be heard. By filing a ‘the Rule 12 Review’ request in December 2017 I expected an immediate response. However, the GMC ignored my concerns for 14 months. Finally, in 2019, I copied in David Martin at the PSA and Dame Clare Marx at the GMC in an email.
She was now chair of the GMC and aware of my daughter’s case having been involved at The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust as their associate medical director in 2016. The GMC responded within one day after I copied in other people. I continued to copy in the Patient Liason Services (PLS) at the GMC. I had travelled to London in 2016 and discussed my daughter’s case with them during a face to face meeting.
I felt let down by the GMC PLS for not helping me, by Dame Clare Marx who ignored any correspondence. In March 2019 the GMC said they were reviewing my daughter’s case.Back to Fitness To Practise Table of Contents