Letters GMC and independent training review

Author’s reply to Dickson

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3152 (Published 15 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3152
  1. Benjamin J F Dean, research fellow and orthopaedic registrar1
  1. 1Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS), Botnar Research Centre, Institute of Musculoskeletal Sciences, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford OX3 7LD, UK
  1. bendean1979{at}gmail.com

I read with great interest Niall Dickson’s response to my personal view.1 2

Saliently, the General Regulatory Chamber’s judgment stated, “The contents of these meetings have not been disclosed and are not reflected in the evidence summaries which form the annex to the report.”3 The meetings were also not specifically referenced in the review’s paper trail. These facts support the assertion that these meetings can be accurately termed “secret,” as anybody outside the review would be unaware that they had taken place without my investigations. Notably, some of these meetings were not formally minuted, and some were not minuted at all. They also allowed the chair to be subject to the influence of unpublished material, which was not referenced in the review. The chamber’s judgment clearly stated that the notes continued to be used by the GMC in their development of policy and to inform their response to the review.3

Dickson also said, “There is a consensus that more needs to be done to meet the changing needs of patients.” The review’s evidence section said, “This search found little research evidence looking at predicted changes in patient needs and public expectations of medicine and their impact on postgraduate medical education.”

Therefore it is difficult to see how one can argue that the review can meet the future needs of patients when it found little evidence to assess these. The talk of consensus is ironic given that the review ignored the majority of respondents to the consultation by proposing to shorten consultant training time. My four simple questions relating to the transparency in healthcare regulation remain unanswered. I wonder how long I and the public shall have to wait.


Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3152



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