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Fitness to practise consultations

This page contains details about current public consultations on proposed changes to our fitness to practise procedures.

The proposed changes aim to make the fitness to practise process simpler and swifter for both patients and doctors while continuing to protect patients.

Contents

Changes to the information we publish and disclose about a doctor’s fitness to practise

This consultation has now closed. You can view our analysis of the responses in our outcome report, and an independent quality assurance of our outcome report. Our Council considered the proposals at its meeting in February 2016 and at the April 2016 meeting.

View the full list of agreed time limits for how long fitness to practise information will be published on a doctor’s online record from early 2017.

This consultation asked for views on proposed changes to the information we publish online and share with others when we take action on a doctor’s registration following a fitness to practise investigation.

Download the main consultation document (pdf).

Reforming our fitness to practise investigation and adjudication processes: changes to our rules

This consultation has now closed. You can view an outline of the consultation responses in our outcome report, our equality analysis, recommendations and the full report in the September 2015 Council papers (pdf).

This consultation was about changes to modernise how we investigate complaints about doctors and how we run hearings.

Download the main consultation document (pdf).

Reviewing our sanctions guidance and the role of apologies and warnings

This consultation is now closed. You can view an outline of the consultation responses in our summary consultation report (pdf) and the full report in the February 2015 Council papers (pdf).

The consultation was a major review of the guidance we give to medical practitioner tribunals run by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service. These tribunals decide what action should be taken to deal with doctors who do not meet our professional standards. The guidance is also available to our own decision makers (case examiners) who decide whether a case should proceed to a tribunal hearing.

In addition we consulted on the role of apologies and warnings in our fitness to practise process.

Download the main consultation document (pdf).

The future of adjudication: making changes to our fitness to practise rules and our constitution of tribunals and Investigation Committee rules

This consultation is now closed. We published a summary of our response in the September 2012 Council papers (pdf).

This consultation is about making changes to the rules, which govern the procedures we follow when investigating concerns about doctors' fitness to practise and how cases are heard by medical practitioner tribunals.

Our aim is to make the pre-hearing and hearing procedure shorter, reducing the stress for all involved. We also want to make the Rules simpler and more flexible.

This is the first part of a larger piece of work to establish a statutory to adjudicate concerns about doctors' fitness to practise - the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS). Some of the proposals are designed to prepare for establishing the MPTS.

You can download the main consultation document here:

Reform of the fitness to practise procedures at the GMC - Changes to the way we deal with cases at the end of an investigation

This consultation is now closed.  We published a summary of our response in the June 2011 Council papers (pdf).

Fitness to practise is the most contentious and high profile area of our work.  Maintaining a register of fit and proper individuals to practise medicine requires us at times to remove or restrict a doctor's registration.  However, the purpose of our fitness to practise work is not to punish doctors but above all to protect patients and to provide opportunities to remediate and rehabilitate doctors.

This consultation is intended to invite public discussion of our proposals for changes in our fitness to practise procedures to introduce a more proportionate approach to the way we deal with cases at the end of an investigation.

You can download the main consultation document here:

The consultation closed on 11 April 2011. For more information about next steps, see our reforms page.

The future of fitness to practise adjudication and the establishment of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service

This consultation is now closed. We published a summary of our response in the July 2011 Council papers (pdf).

We are currently seeking views on plans to establish a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service which would be responsible for running hearings and for decisions by tribunals which in future would be called medical practitioner tribunal hearings.

The Tribunal Service would be separate from our investigation of cases and our presentation of them to tribunals. It would be led by a Chair with significant judicial experience.

Our consultation also contains proposals for a number of reforms that will modernise the way hearings are run, speeding up the adjudication process and reducing the stress for all those involved. These proposals include the use of legally qualified chairs, greater use of written evidence and more effective management of cases as they are prepared for hearings.

You can learn more about our proposals by downloading our consultation document here:

Our consultation follows the Government’s decision not to proceed with the establishment of the Office of the Health Professions Adjudicator (OHPA).

More information about our current adjudication process can be found in the hearings and decisions section of our website.