I have been castigated after my last post for changing the subject. Apparently we “need to talk about the GMC just now” I make no apology. I have broader interests and would not like to be thought of as having only a single string to my bow.
Regular readers will know full well that I have no time for that collection of scum and villainy that calls itself the GMC. I would argue that we need to talk about the GMC, not just now, but constantly until something is done to bring them under some form of supervision and control.
I would also argue that at the moment we do not know if the GMC has done anything, on this occasion, that should concern us. Dr No has now confirmed that two doctors have been reported to the police and under paragraph 58 of the good practice guide that means the GMC must now be involved. What matters is not their involvement but their response. What I would expect of any fair regulator is that if the police feel there is no case to answer then there should automatically be no further action from the GMC. I have previously published this communication from the GMC.
"In January 1999 the Standards Committee of the GMC met to consider issues involving the behaviour of doctors who comment in the media. It was their view that the GMC should not attempt to curtail doctors' rights to express their personal opinions. Doctors, like anyone else commenting in the media, are subject to the same constraints imposed by media regulatory bodies, and the libel laws. Furthermore, the committee considered that the professionals reputation depends principally on the standards of care and conduct provided by doctors to their patients, and not on personal opinions as put forward in published letters or articles. Whilst you may disagree with the comments Dr Y has made, we cannot take action against a doctor who is expressing a personal opinion".
If the GMC choose to respond contrary to their own policy then that would be cause for concern. As yet there is no evidence that they have, or will.