Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh President, Professor Derek Bell, said:

“The College welcomes the findings of Sir Norman Williams’ Review, particularly, the important recommendation that the GMC should lose the right to challenge the “fitness to practice” decisions of the Medical Practitioner Tribunals Service. This, we believe, will help to restore doctors’ confidence in their professional regulator, and begin to repair this key relationship while protecting the public through the Professional Standard Authority’s right of appeal.

“In addition, we note the Review’s recommendations on application of the law, on the use of medical experts, and on the quality and standardisation of investigations. And we are pleased that the need for improved support of all involved in clinical negligence cases has been recognised.

“After the tragic death of Jack Adcock, we worked closely with our Trainees and Members' Committee, to ensure that our Members and Fellows are provided with the most up to date information about key issues for doctors, such as reflective practice guidance. In light of the Williams Review, we will continue to do this, and we will also work closely with the UK Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, to assist in providing relevant professional training, development and support for doctors of all grades.

“Laterally, we are committed to working with other key stakeholders, including the legal profession and healthcare regulators, to establish a framework for good practice for doctors, who provide medico-legal opinions.

“The Norman Williams Review is an important piece of work. We hope that the recommendations are acted upon by Jeremy Hunt, as they could help create a just culture and a more positive environment in terms of how gross negligence manslaughter cases are handled. This, we believe, will provide reassurance to doctors, patients, and their families. Finally, there needs to be a consistent approach across the four nations of the UK when examining these matters.”.

Paul Gillen

Contact: Paul Gillen 0131 247 3658