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Secret guidance for fitness to practise panels is withdrawn

The following information has been sent to me by one of our members.

“I’m not sure how I missed this as I review BMJ Selected Topics & Specialities each week. See http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/view-article.html?id=20018122 .

See a rapid response http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/view-rapid-responses.html?id=20018122 .

The guidance was updated on 16 May 2014 to say:

Doctors frequently rely on testimonials. In considering the weight to be given to the testimonial evidence you should consider the relevance of the particular testimonials to the issues that you have to decide. By way of example, they may be relevant to whether a doctor would abide by conditions. A general testimonial going only to the doctors general competence may be of limited value.

Had this revised version been in place the Patients’ Testimonials would have been accepted as relevant as they related to Dr Skinner’s treatment protocol.

The secret Circular issued on 17 December 2013 stated:

…..the circular told panellists that testimonials were of limited value at the investigation stage and should not be taken into account in determining whether an order should be imposed.

This was AFTER Dr Skinner’s Hearings but I suspect ‘guidance’ was issued informally for Gordon’s hearings.

[SIZE=5]Note that the GMC has agreed to publish guidance “Circulars” from now on. This lets them get out of publishing guidance that isn’t in a circular, i.e. relating to specific hearings or doctors.[/SIZE]

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