Plan to punish failing doctors behind closed doors criticised in Redbridge

A plan to sanction some doctors who fail their patients away from the gaze of the public has been cricised.

The General Medical Council (GMC), which registers and regulates doctors practising in the UK, has completed a consultation into its controversial proposals.

Under its plans, doctors who accept the GMC’s recommendations, such as the removal of their name from the register, will not need to attend a hearing.

Instead, all the evidence against that individual, plus the sanctions handed out, will be published online.

The GMC insists the proposed changes, which will help cut costs after a steep rise in hearings, will apply to a “small number” of cases.

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But Ilford North Conservative MP Lee Scott says he will write to Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, expressing his concerns if the changes go ahead.

He said: “I believe they need to be open and transparent.

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“If you plead guilty, surely the sentencing and how they came to that decision should be in public for the people who seek recourse and want to see justice done.

“In the Bloom case, they made certain admissions, but with this in place, the family wouldn’t have heard anything.”

Bernard Bloom, of High Road, Chigwell has been seeking “justice” since 2002 after his sister Carmel Bloom, of Fremantle Road, Barkingside, died following a routine kidney stone operation at the former Bupa Roding Hospital, Roding Lane South, Redbridge.

Doctors John Hines and Paul Timmis were cleared in February after a GMC hearing was told the operation went tragically wrong.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, said: “We believe that in some, but not all, cases we do not need to hold a public hearing in order to protect the public.”

The GMC is reviewing all the responses to its 12-week consultation, which ended earlier this month.

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