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Annual Report and Financial Statements 2015

The Annual Report and Financial Statements highlight the Council's activities in 2015. Developments during the year include;

  • The Medical Council published a first-ever comprehensive review of complaints to the Medical Council.
  • A new Medical Council CEO and two non-medical members were welcomed to the organisation.
  • The Medical Council developed an Information Governance Framework in 2015 based on best practise.

20,473

doctors registered in 2015

97

anatomy donations were made to medical schools 

369

complaints received

51

doctors were supported by the Medical Council's Health Committee 

21%

increase of website visits on 2014

41%

of the medical workforce female

More Information

Strategic Objective One: Develop an effective and efficient register that is responsive to the changing needs of the medical profession

Entry to the medical register allows doctors to practise medicine in Ireland. The Medical Council’s work in the registration process is of pivotal importance to patients by making sure that the necessary safeguards are in place before a doctor earns the right to practise.

  • 560 pre-registration examinations were sat to gain entry to the Irish medical register. There was a 45% pass rate on the computer - based and  48% on the clinical - based pre-registration examination system.
  • 20,473 doctors were registered in 2015. This was a significant increase in the number of new doctors registered.
  • Approximately 2,600 doctors were registered with the Medical Council for the first time.
  • Two enhancements were made to its registration process for doctors who qualified outside the European Union (EU) / European Economic Area (EEA) to streamline application process.
  • The third annual Medical Workforce Intelligence report was launched in October.
Strategic Objective Two: Create a supportive learning environment to enable good professional practice

The learning environment plays a pivotal role in shaping doctors’ practise throughout their professional lives. The Medical Council placed a significant emphasis in 2015 on listening to trainee views of the learning environment and identifying areas of improvement.

  • Three reports were published from the Your Training Counts survey which reported on the Health and Wellbeing of trainees, Career Intention & Retention Statistics and the Quality Monitoring and Enhancement of Undergraduate Medical Education and Training.
  • The Council completed its review of the 7th edition of the guide of Professional Conduct and Ethics (2009) and then went out to consultation on a draft 8th edition of the guide.
  • 88% rated their general health as being good or better, 6-in-10 rated their quality of life as being good or better.
  • 9-in-10 trainees rated the quality of care to patients as good or better and teamwork & peer collaboration rated the most positive aspects of clinical learning.
  • Guidelines for Medical Schools and Medical Students on Undergraduate Professionalism was launched in December.
  • An education and training roadmap titled Doctors' Education, Training and Lifelong Learning in 21st Century Ireland was published in September.
  • The Code of Practice for Anatomical Examination which was drafted by the Inspector of Anatomy, Prof D. Ceri Davies was approved.
  • Military Medicine was recognised as a new speciality in October.
Strategic Objective Three: Maintain the confidence of the public and profession in the Medical Council’s processes by developing a proportionate and targeted approach to regulatory activities

The Medical Council’s processes for complaints about doctors are designed to safeguard members of the public, and focus on investigating complaints in a robust and fair manner.

  • 369 complaints were received by the Council. 
  • There were 60 cases for fitness to practise inquiries completed in 2015.
  • In July, a comprehensive review of complaints was published.
  • A video tour of the Medical Council inquiry room was developed to help witnesses and doctors prepare for what can be a stressful experience in giving evidence before a fitness to practise committee.
Strategic Objective Four: Enhance patient safety through insightful research and greater engagement

Engagement with the public, doctors and partner organisations continued to be a focus for the Medical Council in 2015, while the Council’s research focus broadened during the year, with a range of research projects undertaken, including:

  • Your Training Counts 2014 – Health & Wellbeing and Career & Retention Intentions Report
  • Your Training Counts 2015 – Trainee perceptions of the clinical learning environment
  • Listening to Complaints; learning for good professional practice – a five year review of complaints
  • The Medical Council Workforce Intelligence Report
  • Research to inform the development of new Medical Council guidance on professional conduct and ethics.
  • Announcement of the Safe Start Programme
Strategic Objective Five: Build an organisational culture that supports leadership and learning

Activities in 2015 focused on implementing best practise in governance and human resources.

  • In October, Bill Prasifka became the new Chief Executive.
  • Two new non - medical members were welcomed. Thomas J O'Higgins was appointed by the Minister of Health in October and Fergus Clancy by nomination of the Independent Hospital Association of Ireland.
  • Through the Performance Management and Development System (PMDS) process learning needs of staff were recorded and addressed with training being provided to staff.
  • Specialist training was delivered to case officers resulting in the award of a Certificate of Investigative Skills independently accredited by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
  • The Corporate Governance Handbook was updated and distributed to Council, Committee and all Staff.

Strategic Objective Six: Develop a sustainable and high - performing organisation

An emphasis was placed on business process improvement in 2015, with a continued focus on providing services in a cost-effective manner.

  • The Medical Council developed Information Governance Framework based on best practise and tailored for the organisation.
  • Business process improvement in 2015 focused mainly on the registration area in preparation for an external review in 2016.
  • There was a continued focus on financial planning throughout the organisation, reflected in reduced costs in a number of areas in 2015.
  • Quarterly reports on business planning and performance against financial targets were provided to the Audit, Strategy and Risk Committee and to Council.