Message from CEO
Welcome to the first edition of this year’s newsletter. To begin, I would like to mention a decision the High Court made before Christmas. The Council was before the President of the High Court seeking confirmation of a sanction in a Fitness to Practice hearing. The President confirmed the sanction, and some important observations were made on the good work of the Council in handling these cases in an appropriate manner, and the extensive training provided by the executive to the members of the Medical Council, both generally and on this occasion itself. The decision is very important as it vindicates all the work of the executive in the past year to align our practices with sound legal principles. What it also reinforces is how the Medical Council is charged with the maintenance of competence amongst medical practitioners and it is the Medical Council which is primarily charged with ensuring public confidence in the profession.
It has already been a productive few weeks here in the Medical Council as there have been many developments from the offset. We had our first Council meeting of 2017 on the 8th and 9th of February and it was business as usual. It was discussed how this year we wish to focus on continual professional development, competency and compliance as well as greater public engagement.
With regards to professional competency, our consistent aim in safeguarding the professional development requirements of doctors can be reflected in three core developments that are underway.
The issue of non – enrolment in Professional Competence Schemes as required by law: Amendments to the declaration questions on the retention form will enforce the acknowledgment of doctor’s obligations. The outcome of this action will become evident following the analysis of the Postgraduate Training Bodies PCS data in May/June.
Performance Assessments and Model Refinement: We are seeking a performance assessment model refinement working group which is advertised on our website and it is envisaged that this group will convene in May.
Negotiating of the Arrangement with the PGTBs to operate Professional Competencies Schemes: This arrangement will be extended for a three year period. Meetings took place with the Forum and Forum PCS subcommittees which discussed the developments going forward. The anticipated changes reflected in amended schedules will be both operational and developmental.
This year we wish to have more engagement with the public and to create a greater awareness of our role among doctors and the public alike. To correspond with this and to further inform the public about their healthcare, our online Patient booklet entitled ‘Working with your Doctor: useful information for patients’ is available on our website.
With regards to our professional engagement we are steadfast in our consultative training panels based around our Your Training Counts surveys. We understand how important these surveys are to determine the climate of medical training in Ireland. We also value the participation of those trainees who attend and give us their feedback on progress, in certain areas. Our next survey will be carried out later in the year and we will have another discussion panel in which we welcome all interested attendees.
To conclude, we have started the year in a productive manner and we will continue to do so throughout the year with our clear objective of doing what is right for the patient.