Letter: Setting medical record straight

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The Independent Online
From Mr Finlay Scott

Sir: There are two points I would like to make in response to your feature entitled "Carry on, Doctor Pilsworth" (30 March).

You quote one of the villagers of Kirton in Lindsey as saying: "Why doesn't the General Medical Council focus its attention on violent or incompetent doctors rather than on doctors who commit adultery?" Between 1990 and 1994 the GMC's Professional Conduct Committee considered 281 cases. Only 14 were concerned with improper emotional or sexual relations.

This compares, for example, with 106 cases of failure to provide a proper standard of professional care. I fear it is the media, not the GMC, which focuses on cases with a sexual element.

The article states that of doctors who are struck off, nearly half can expect to be "quietly reinstated". This is not so. Between 1979 and 1993, 125 doctors were erased from the Register. In the same period only 32 were restored.

Furthermore, all applications for restoration are heard in public.

Yours faithfully,


Chief Executive and Registrar

General Medical Council

London, W1

30 March