London Med Student

Remedy sees GMC in court over MTAS debacle

On Monday 27 July, Remedy will be going to the High Court. The court will hear the next stage of the judicial review into the decision by the GMC not to refer the architects of MTAS to the Fitness to Practice Committee.

MTAS tore families apart, precipitated the march of 12,000 angry protesters through London and Glasgow and was heavily criticised by the profession. The Douglas report concluded that MTAS had sparked the biggest crisis within the medical profession in a generation.

Justice Goldring recognised that there had been “disastrous consequences” from it, and even health secretary Patricia Hewitt had the decency to apologise to those affected by it.

A Health Select Committee report was highly critical, and contemporary evidence documented the knock-on effects on patient care resulting from the stress junior doctors were under.

Many of those responsible for the 2007 recruitment process were doctors.

Last year a letter signed by 1,600 supporters asked the GMC to investigate whether the conduct of those responsible for MTAS had been sufficiently bad as to constitute serious professional misconduct or deficient professional performance. They asked for the case to be properly investigated.

But the GMC declined this request, reasoning that the alleged misconduct, even if proved, could not sensibly be said to impinge on their fitness to practice medicine.

The GMC has always seen one of its key roles as being the preservation of the reputation of the medicine. It seems surprising that they would take such a hands-off approach to a fiasco of this magnitude, especially since they had taken action before in non-clinical matters that attracted public attention. The cases of Roylance and Meadows are the best known precedents.

There are some who argue that a lot of water has passed under the bridge since 2007, that lessons have been learned and that it is time to move on.

We disagree. There is an important point of principle at stake around the issue of professional accountability. Remedy believes that this case is important not only because of the events in question but also because it acts as a benchmark for future practice and conduct. We consider this action an essential step in maintaining the reputation of the profession in the eyes of other doctors and the general public, and in protecting the public (and the public purse) against future equivalent mismanagement.

See you in court.

Bookmark and Share

Post a Comment

Enter this security code

Submit Comment for Moderation