Plans for tougher sanctions for doctors: expert comment 

22 August 2014

The General Medical Council (GMC) is considering tougher sanctions for doctors. Under the proposals the regulator would be able to force doctors who have made mistakes to apologise to patients if they have previously refused to do so as well as restrict the practice of those who have made mistakes and since retrained even if their work has improved (BBC).

Olivia Scates, a medical negligence partner at JMW Solicitors who represents patients nationally who have been injured by poor care by doctors, commented:

“We have represented patients who have been seriously injured by doctors who then refuse to hold their hands up and this can lead to a whole host of further problems, including additional distress for victims and the potential for further patients to be harmed. Apologies for mistakes can be very important for patients where things have gone wrong.

“These plans are a step in the right direction but the GMC must be committed to enforcing them stringently. We have had clients who have complained to the GMC about some quite appalling treatment, believing this would help to protect other patients, but have been leftfrustrated by its response. 

“Doctors do need to be more answerable for their actions and it is important that it is established that they are not a danger to patients where serious mistakes have been made. If they are not doing so then it is only right that the regulator takes tough action.”

For more information or to arrange an interview:

Kelly Hindle

D. 0161 828 1868


Note to Editors

JMW Solicitors LLP is a leading Manchester law firm and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients.JMW’s Clinical Negligence team is headed up by leading clinical negligence lawyer, Eddie Jones. For more than a decade he and his team have advised and represented thousands of victims of clinical negligence, and their relatives, and have obtained over £100 million in compensation for their clients, as well as providing the answers as to why their medical treatment has gone wrong.

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