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The hearing of fitness to practice cases by the General Medical Council: current trends and future research agendas

The hearing of fitness to practice cases by the General Medical Council: current trends and future research agendas
The hearing of fitness to practice cases by the General Medical Council: current trends and future research agendas
Over the last three decades a risk-based model of medical regulation has emerged in the United Kingdom. To promote a risk-averse operational culture of transparency and professional accountability the regulatory state has intervened in medical governance and introduced best-evidenced practice frameworks, audit and performance appraisal. Against this background the paper analyses descriptive statistical data pertaining to the General Medical Council's management of the process by which fitness to practice complaints against doctors are dealt with from initial receipt through to subsequent investigative and adjudication stages. Statistical trends are outlined regarding complaint data in relation to a doctor's gender, race and ethnicity. The data shows that there has been an increase in rehabilitative and/or punitive action against doctors. In light of its findings the paper considers what the long-term consequences may be, for both patients and doctors, of the increasing use of risk-averse administrative systems to reform medical regulation and ensure professional accountability.
complaints, fitness to practice, general medical council, medical regulation, professional self-regulation, risk, risk regulation
1369-8575
561-575
Chamberlain, J.M.
6ded5c54-3e2d-4c20-b885-ada38e5bae18
Chamberlain, J.M.
6ded5c54-3e2d-4c20-b885-ada38e5bae18

Chamberlain, J.M. (2011) The hearing of fitness to practice cases by the General Medical Council: current trends and future research agendas. Health Risk & Society, 13 (6), 561-575. (doi:10.1080/13698575.2011.613984).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Over the last three decades a risk-based model of medical regulation has emerged in the United Kingdom. To promote a risk-averse operational culture of transparency and professional accountability the regulatory state has intervened in medical governance and introduced best-evidenced practice frameworks, audit and performance appraisal. Against this background the paper analyses descriptive statistical data pertaining to the General Medical Council's management of the process by which fitness to practice complaints against doctors are dealt with from initial receipt through to subsequent investigative and adjudication stages. Statistical trends are outlined regarding complaint data in relation to a doctor's gender, race and ethnicity. The data shows that there has been an increase in rehabilitative and/or punitive action against doctors. In light of its findings the paper considers what the long-term consequences may be, for both patients and doctors, of the increasing use of risk-averse administrative systems to reform medical regulation and ensure professional accountability.

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Accepted/In Press date: 31 May 2011
e-pub ahead of print date: 22 September 2011
Keywords: complaints, fitness to practice, general medical council, medical regulation, professional self-regulation, risk, risk regulation
Organisations: Social Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 385886
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/385886
ISSN: 1369-8575
PURE UUID: 139f3cd7-16c4-432d-84f6-c9e5f5a40051

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Date deposited: 25 Jan 2016 16:33
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 19:53

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