Remedy are taking the General Medical Council to court this week on behalfof 1600 doctors. The GMC have been accused of blocking a Fitness to Practice enquiry into Sir Liam Donaldson, days before he is due to step down as Chief Medical Officer. The case has been branded as ‘The Double Standards Challenge”.
The litigation arises over Donaldson’s management of MTAS – thecomputerised recruitment system for junior doctors. The Health Select Committee concluded that “Candidates and assessors alike were justifiably outraged by the sheer inadequacy of MTAS. The period between February and August 2007 was characterised by unrelenting chaos and severe anxiety for thousands of junior doctors. …
The reputation of both the Department of Health and the leaders of the profession were severely diminished”. The GMC was asked to consider whether those responsible should face a disciplinary hearing. But they declined to refer the matter to their Case Examiners. In a letter to Remedy they stated that Donaldson’s involvement could not render him unfit to practice “whatever the conduct’. This conflicts with the GMC’s own published guidance for Doctors in Management,which states ” You remain accountable to the GMC for your decisions”.
It is unheard of for thousands of doctors to take their own ruling body to court. But Remedy believes that we have been completely let down. There should be one rule for all medics, without exceptions. We are drawing aline in the sand over cronyism and lack of accountability in the upper echelons of the medical profession. This is the first time a case of deficient professional performance has been made against a doctor in management.