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.
Ah the dear old GMC! Well you’ve certainly got further than I ever did when I made raised concerns repeatedly regarding various psychiatrists in north Wales lying, threatening me and grossly abusing patients in a number of ways. The GMC did not even condescend to investigate my complaints – although I noticed that two of the people I complained about went on to disgrace themselves so badly that their names were eventually removed from the register (how many patients suffered at their hands until they were finally deemed unfit to practice?). The other practitioners are all still in business – and now it’s been admitted that there is ‘institutional abuse’ in the mental health services in north Wales and the health board is now in special measures. After reminding the GMC of their failure to investigate my concerns and the sorry state of the mental health services in north Wales the other day, I received a mysterious e mail from the GMC last week asking for the best way to contact me. Is there going to be a belated investigation? Or an acknowledgment that they probably shouldn’t have spent years ignoring concerns raised by others and myself? Who knows. I don’t hold out much hope, but will be shortly be blogging about my encounters with the GMC – sadly, though patients continue to suffer.
yes utter shambles and broad agreement with any other regulatory body investigating is a certainty. Nice polite people to deal with but nothing doing. Our outcome was, regrettably no real prospect of doing bugger all about the consultants registration. Shocking statements that might have been useful had they been directed to the consultant in question included the GMC observation that it would have been good medical practice , had he made certain decisions. Well yes, and some of his actions were regrettable ! The consultant’s response was a stonker that had to be redacted and when I asked to be provided with the original response I was informed the consultant had waxed a little too lyrical for the GMC regarding my virtues as a Mother and I probably didn’t need to read that . Bless the gentleman under investigation, he he did say in his opening sentence that he couldn’t imagine what my loss must feel like as a Father himself. The whole nonsense that anyone is being judged by a fellow( whatever )just drives you insane in the end, it’s garbage and leaves you gutted. NICE guidelines and pathways including those for palliative care are optional tools of the trade is the official GMC stance. Worth knowing they are a shower though. Take care x
I realised what I was dealing with re the GMC when I was told that there had been five complaints in one month about one of the psychiatrists in my case to the GMC – he had also been successfully sued by one patient in a civil case for negligence. He was never even disciplined…
Pingback: The GMC investigation (Part 2) | mydaftlife