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GMC announces working group to lead medical manslaughter review

The working group for Dame Clare Marx’s independent review into gross negligence manslaughter (and culpable homicide in Scotland) in the medical profession has been appointed.

A team of 10 people will assist Dame Clare Marx, Chair of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, as she conducts an independent review, commissioned by the General Medical Council (GMC), to explore how such cases are initiated and investigated in the UK.

The working group comprises a wide range of perspectives, experience and expertise, with membership drawn from across the medical profession, including doctors in training, the legal system, employers and patients.

"As a group we are committed to exploring every avenue to promote a no blame culture and encouraging a renewed focus on reflective practice and learning. It will be a difficult challenge, but I am confident that my colleagues on this working group are the ideal team to achieve this."

Dame Clare Marx

Chair of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management

The 10 members are Dr Clare Gerada, Leslie Hamilton, Professor Pali Hungin, Bertie Leigh, Liz McAnulty, Vivienne Parry, Selva Ramasamy, Professor Iqbal Singh, Dr Jude Tweedie, and Dr Iain Wallace. See the full biographies of the working group.

The working group will meet regularly throughout the rest of the year to analyse all aspects of the process, including:

  • What happens after a fatal incident occurs
  • The impact of any criminal investigation
  • Inquiries by a coroner, procurator fiscal or sheriff
  • The regulatory process and the GMC’s fitness to practise processes.

Dame Clare said: ‘The wealth of knowledge and experience of the working group members will be hugely valuable for the review into how gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide cases are dealt with, and what can be improved.

‘As a group we are committed to exploring every avenue to promote a no blame culture and encouraging a renewed focus on reflective practice and learning. It will be a difficult challenge, but I am confident that my colleagues on this working group are the ideal team to achieve this.’ 

The working party will hold oral evidence sessions for key organisations across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as seeking written evidence and holding workshops for doctors and patients.

The group will examine what needs to be done to improve how existing law, procedures and processes are applied, while still protecting the public and maintaining confidence in the medical profession. The review will also look at how the GMC should handle cases involving gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide.

Dame Clare’s report will be published early next year.

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