§ Mr. Hoyle
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what penalties have been imposed on general practitioners in medical service cases examined by family practitioner committees; how many general practitioners involved in medical service cases have previously been involved in such cases; and how many of these cases have been referred to the British Medical Association for disciplinary action;88W
(2) how many medical service cases have been dealt with by family practitioner committees nationally; and in how many of these cases allegations against doctors were found to be proven.
§ Mrs. Currie
Family pracitioner committees may recommend to the Secretary of State that a medical practitioner found in breach of his terms of service(a) be warned to comply more closely with his terms of services in future; and/or (b) that an amount should be withheld from his remuneration.
In 1986, the Secretary of State disposed of 1,138 reports of formal investigations. Three hundred and nine practitioners were found in breach of their terms of service and the Secretary of State directed withholdings in 64 of these cases. Records are published in table 5.14 of the "Health and Personal Social Services Statistics", a copy of which is the Library. Figures are not available for the number of breach cases in which warnings are issued.
Information about the number of general medical practitioners who have been involved more than once in medical service committee cases is not analysed routinely; however, where a breach is established a practitioner's earlier record in this respect is ascertained and may be taken into account.
The General Medical Council is the regulatory body for general medical practitioners. The council is normally notified in cases where the Secretary of State directs a withholding.
§ Mr. Hoyle
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will authorise the release of details concerning medical service case No. MS233, examined by the Cheshire family practitioner committee; and if he will also release details of any previous cases that the doctor in this case has been involved in.
§ Mrs. Currie
No. The Service Committee Regulations require that service committee reports should be sent only to the parties to the investigation and to the Secretary of State. As the reports often contain details of a confidential and personal nature, it would be in the interests of neither the complainant nor the practitioner for reports to be released.