Regulating doctors, ensuring good medical practice


General Medical Council welcomes Chief Executive of new adjudication body

Press Release

19 Feb 2010

The GMC welcomes the appointment of Stephen Shaw CBE as the first chief executive of the Office of the Health Professions Adjudicator (OHPA).

Stephen Shaw has a wealth of experience which should help him in his new role and we look forward to working closely with him and his team.

Niall Dickson, GMC Chief Executive

GMC Chief Executive Niall Dickson said:

“Stephen Shaw has a wealth of experience which should help him in his new role and we look forward to working closely with him and his team. His appointment is a major step towards establishing this new independent body, which from April next year will adjudicate on fitness to practise cases brought before it by the General Medical Council.


“The current arrangements whereby the GMC runs the investigations and is responsible for the panel hearings can cause confusion. In future we hope our role will be absolutely clear to everyone – we are here to protect patients, working with doctors and others to set the standards for good medical practice and ensure they are adhered to.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact the Media Relations Office on 020 7189 5454, out of hours 020 7189 5444, email press@gmc-uk.org, website www.gmc-uk.org.

The General Medical Council registers and licenses doctors to practise medicine in the UK. Our purpose is summed up in the phrase: Regulating doctors, Ensuring Good Medical Practice.

The law gives us four main functions:

• keeping up-to-date registers of qualified doctors
• fostering good medical practice
• promoting high standards of medical education
• dealing firmly and fairly with doctors whose fitness to practise is in doubt


Office of the Health Professions Adjudicator (OHPA)

From April 2011, the adjudication of fitness to practise cases involving doctors will transfer from the GMC to a new body called the Office of the Health Professions Adjudicator (OHPA). OHPA is being established under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. It is being created to ensure clear separation between the investigation of fitness to practise cases and the process of determining whether a professional’s fitness to practise is impaired.

To begin with, the new body will be responsible for making decisions on fitness to practise cases brought forward by the GMC and, in time, the General Optical Council. Over time, other regulators of healthcare professionals may transfer their adjudication functions to OHPA. For more information about OHPA, please visit www.ohpa.org.uk

The GMC will remain the regulator for doctors, continuing to set the standards for professional practice and receiving and investigating allegations about their fitness to practise.

Merger of PMETB with GMC

From 1 April 2010, (subject to legislation) the functions of the Post Graduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) will be transferred to the GMC, creating a simpler and clearer framework for the regulation of medical education and training.

In February 2008, the Secretary of State announced that PMETB would be merged with the GMC, following a recommendation from Sir John Tooke’s Independent Inquiry into Modernising Medical Careers. Following the merger, all stages of medical education and training will fall under the GMC’s remit. For more information please visit www.gmc-uk.org or www.pmetb.org.uk