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Medicopolitical Digest

Consultants issue guidance on professional advisory panelsLords criticise government's response to cannabis reportAll GPs must have full insuranceNHS in Wales being reshaped

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 12 December 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1663

Consultants issue guidance on professional advisory panels

The BMA's Central Consultants and Specialists Committee has issued guidance to help medical directors conduct an investigation into a wide range of performance problems. The guidance has been produced in response to worries that in many cases doctors may have concerns about a colleague's performance but might be reluctant to approach the director for fear of initiating a formal disciplinary procedure and potentially damaging the colleague's professional reputation.

The guidance advises medical directors to set up a professional advisory panel to investigate a problem at an early stage. The CCSC recommends that this should be chaired by the chairman of the medical staff committee or someone of equivalent seniority. The other members could be the clinical director of the doctor about whom concerns have been expressed and a consultant from a neighbouring trust in the relevant specialty. If the individual is a GP the local medical committee might be asked to nominate a member.

Not a replacement for Three Wise Men

The panel might decide to exonerate the doctor concerned or to take further action. It is not intended to replace the Three Wise Men procedure, which the CCSC acknowledges may still …

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