Checking Up On Medical Practitioners

Author:Mr Tom Hayes
Profession:Matheson Ormsby Prentice

Since May 2011, practitioners are obliged to commit to a formal process of professional development, promoting and improving professional competence. As the year anniversary of this statutory obligation tolls, practitioners now face further changes. On-site performance assessments are now operational, where concerns arise that a practitioner is not maintaining the required level of professional competence. Given that on-site assessments were so recently introduced, it is premature to speculate overly on their impact. However, for practitioners looking to understand how the process works, the following section outlines the various steps involved.

Performance Assessment – Getting There

A practitioner may:

be referred for performance assessment following consideration of a complaint by the Preliminary Proceedings Committee; undertake to be referred for performance assessment following a Fitness to Practise Committee Inquiry; or be referred for performance assessment by direction of the Medical Council, following a Fitness to Practise Committee Inquiry. The Process

If a practitioner has been referred for performance assessment, a carefully selected and trained assessment team, usually comprising two doctors and one patient representative, will investigate their practice. Before the visit, the team may have gathered background information about the practitioner; appointed an occupational health assessor to conduct a health assessment of the practitioner/or questioned their staff and patients on their views on a wide range of issues concerning their professional performance...

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