Letter: Watching doctors

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Sir: Your item on bad doctors ("NHS tricked into hiring bad doctors", 6 April) highlights the difficulty facing the NHS in particular (but not to exclude the private sector) in dealing with poor performing doctors.

As someone who has spent many years working with consultants to help improve their ability to assess the performance of junior doctors in training, to ensure that they are the best they can be when they become consultants, I have always been concerned about the continuing assessment of competence and performance, and ways to maintain a standardised system of documenting levels and types of competency, but also its absence .

Perhaps all health professionals need to carry something like a clinical passport which could document such things as employment history, further training undertaken, and areas of special competency.

Integrating NHS and private health within one system of regulation, and employment, is needed to provide assurances to the public that poor-performing or dangerous health professionals cannot just move jobs to escape scrutiny or punishment.


Amersham, Buckinghamshire