Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Government commits to public repository of consultant details “in principle”

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 17 December 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n3115

Rapid Response:

Re: Government commits to public repository of consultant details “in principle”

Dear Editor

I am confused how "creating a public repository .. that sets out their practising privileges .. including how many times they have done a procedure and how recently" would have detected and stopped Ian Paterson. Such a repository would actually have enhanced Paterson's profile as he was registered as a breast surgeon and would have had plenty of recent procedures - they happened to be inappropriate procedures.

Once again it seems that we are drifting into a response which is inappropriate for the original problem; the identification of a rogue clinician. Just as the introduction of Revalidation following the Shipman enquiry would not have identified Shipman, the introduction of a repository is unlikely to identify a future Paterson but will almost certainly decrease the variety of procedures that a clinician is prepared to perform resulting in even further specialisation and narrowing of experience causing the need for even more clinicians to manage the same number of patients.

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 January 2022
DWJ McCreadie
Retired A&E Consultant
West Midlands