§ Mr. Campbell-Savours
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in the light of the Fakes disciplinary hearing, he is satisfied that the rules governing the reporting of proceedings before disciplinary committees of the General Medical Council are serving both the interests of the public and the medical profession.
§ Dr. Vaughan
The Medical Act 1956 provides that the disciplinary committee of the General Medical Council shall make procedural rules with the approval of the Privy Council. The relevant rules, currently contained in the General Medical Council Disciplinary Committee (Procedure) (Amendment) Rules Order of Council 1978, provide for proceedings to be public unless the committee itself directs that the public be excluded, for reasons of a nature specified in the Order of Council. I am satisfied that the committee has the power to conduct its proceedings in private whenever there are good reasons for this to be done.
The new Council, due to succeed the present one on 27 September 1979, will have similar power under the Medical Act 1978 to make rules for the procedure of its professional conduct committee.