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Friday, 22 June, 2001, 00:15 GMT 01:15 UK
GMC accused over doctor's complaint
GMC
The GMC mistook Dr Stevenson for a patient
A radiologist has accused the General Medical Council (GMC) of failing to deal properly with a complaint he made about a potentially dangerous doctor.

Dr William Stevenson, from Burnley, feared a fellow doctor working at a hospital in another Lancashire town posed a threat to the public.


If the GMC had just had a quick glance at the correspondence I sent them they would have realised that this was not a letter from a patient

Dr William Stevenson
But when he complained in writing to the GMC, including documentary evidence to back up his concerns.

But he says he had to wait almost a month for a reply - and was mistaken for a patient.

Eventually he received an information leaflet entitled "A Problem With Your Doctor" and a request to release his personal medical records.

'Shocked'

A report in the British Medical Association newspaper BMA News said Dr Stevenson was "shocked" by the GMC's reaction.

He said: "If the GMC had just had a quick glance at the correspondence I sent them they would have realised that this was not a letter from a patient."

Dr Stevenson said his complaint was a "clear cut and simple case of professional misconduct".

He said he wrote to GMC president Sir Donald Irvine but a month later had not received a reply other than an acknowledgement of his letter.


Due to the very heavy volume of correspondence we receive each day, administrative errors can sometimes occur

General Medical Council
The GMC said in a statement: "Correspondence between ourselves and doctors or complainants is usually confidential.

"We take complaints about our service delivery very seriously and will respond in writing to any concerns anyone may have.

"Due to the very heavy volume of correspondence we receive each day, administrative errors can sometimes occur.

"If we make an error we will always acknowledge this and endeavour to correct the situation. We are committed to learning from our mistakes and improving our quality of service."

Last year, doctors passed a vote of no confidence in their disciplinary body and still have yet to agreed on reforms to its monitoring procedures which are a key part of the governments plans for the health service.

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See also:

24 May 01 | Health
GMC boss stepping down early
04 Apr 01 | Health
GMC names freemason members
11 Oct 00 | Health
GMC outlines reform plans
16 Nov 00 | Background Briefings
The GMC: Guiding doctors
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