HC Deb 02 March 1981 vol 1000 cc38-9W
Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what advice he has received from the British Medical Association concerning a complaints procedure with reference to clinical judgment; if he is satisfied that there has been adequate consultation about this; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he will ensure that any proposals relating to complaints procedure with reference to clinical judgment are brought before the House before any final decisions are made.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Proposals for handling complaints which concern the exercise of clinical judgment by hospital doctors and dentists were submitted to me last year by the joint consultants committee. The text of these, and of my reply to the chairman of the committee, was published in my reply to the right hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) on 22 May 1980—[Vol. 985. c.324-26]. Following discussions between the committee and representatives of my Department, the committee's revised proposals were published in the British Medical Journal for 22 November.

The chairman of the committee has now informed me that, following consultation within the profession, the joint consultants committee's constituent bodies—the Conference of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties, and the Central Committee for Hospital Medical Staff—have agreed to the procedure published on 22 November being tried out in the National Health Service.

I am now considering the proposed procedure and the manner in which it might be associated with guidance on the handling of complaints generally. I will inform the House of the further steps I propose to take.