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James Bell: GMC Seeks Closed Hearings with no Press Access

By Principal Lawyer, Clinical Negligence

The GMC is marching out of step with the legal profession in seeking to have disciplinary hearings against doctors conducted behind closed doors with no press access. The alleged reason for this  is to cut "cost" and "reduce stress to doctors".

In the same week they demanded that some doctors should have their GMC hearings held in private, Lord Neuberger, the master of the rolls, stated that the…"court should ensure that the restrictions on access and reporting are the minimum to enable justice to be done in that case."Scott Wilford , editor of Central News Agency, who cover all GMC hearings said …"The proposed changes (at the GMC) mark another sad day for the freedom of the press, and a disastrous day for the rights of patients, who already suffer so much at the hands of doctors in this country. The move to hold hearings in private has nothing to with fairness to doctors, it is simply an attempt to throw a cloak of secrecy over doctors’ misconduct."

I agree with Scott Wilford , the public have a right to know what punishment is meted out by all professional bodies and  there should be transparency across the board for all professions such a doctors , midwives, lawyers and accountants.

James Bell is a Principal Lawyer in the Slater and Gordon clinical negligence team. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.