Starting a series of posts about our experience of a GMC investigation. I don’t suppose it will be a big surprise to hear that this is utterly shite. I don’t know what to call it. Journey? Process? Piss take? Shambles? I dunno. You decide. I’ve kind of held off from unpacking this [fill in from above] in case it somehow influences or ‘biases’ the outcome of the ‘investigation’ but have reached a point at which I sadly realise that there is no outcome to muddy, bias or de-rail. Just an inept, unwieldy, careless, brutal, inhumane (no)thing.
Back to 2014. When I first referred Dr X after Sloven repeatedly refused to let us know anything about possible staff disciplinary procedures. We got wind that Dr X had relinquished her licence and gone to practice outside the UK.
The referral was harrowing. Having to lay out the reasons why we thought Dr X failed LB (it wasn’t (and isn’t) our job to do so) was deeply painful. Luckily our fab solicitor helped us.
A month later we receive an acknowledgement from our newly appointed GMC investigation officer. Kicking off with a breezy opening:
Thank you for your letter of 22 May 2014 about Dr X.
I will be investigating your complaint and will be your main point of investigation during the investigation.
Note to GMC. We really ain’t complaining about the actions of Dr X. Our son died. Something you seem to erase from this exchange. LB isn’t mentioned until the fifth paragraph. Halfway through the letter:
This is the grist of the letter. The consent form. Five out of the 10 paragraphs focus on the urgency of returning the consent form. No acknowledgement that someone died. There is no empathy, understanding that we may be in a pretty crap space. The only vague mention of this is towards the end of the letter (before a final demand for the consent letter):
Some people find making a complaint to us a stressful experience… [link to Victim Support]
The irony in this sentence speaks for itself. I think I’ll leave Part 1 here. I returned that consent form before the 27 June 2014 deadline. The only deadline met in this brutal process.
The GMC (are they actually medics?) gave us 8 days. We’re now at 2 years and 3 months with no idea of the end date. Yet another classy bunch.
PS. Hoping I don’t need to spell out the ‘learning’ here but will in a summary post at the end.