Medical Council News

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CEO Message

Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter.

We have had a busy few months in the Medical Council with the appointment of a new Council and the election of a new President, Dr Rita Doyle, and the re-election of the Vice-President, Dr Anthony Breslin. I wish to congratulate both Rita and Anthony, and I look forward to working with them and the new Council to fulfil our dual remit of protecting patients and supporting doctors.

The period for doctors to register with the Medical Council is now complete. This year doctors had an added requirement to provide details of their professional indemnity cover. Thank you to all those who engaged in the process in a timely manner.

The Medical Council appeared before two Oireachtas Committees in recent months. We attended a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee to inform the Committee about our Ethical Guide, especially the sections open disclosure and duty of candour. We also attended the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health to address the matter of non-specialists hospital doctors practicing as consultants in Ireland.

This matter was not only raised by the Oireachtas Committee but was also highlighted by the President of the High Court who expressed his concerns over the patient safety implications of these appointments. The Medical Council strongly supports appointment of consultants that are properly qualified and considers this essential to the proper delivery of health care. This is an area we are monitoring closely and firmly believe that only doctors on the specialist register should be employed in consultant roles. We are liaising regularly with the HSE on this issue and working with individual doctors to ensure the highest of standards are being met and that the practise of non-specialists being appointed to these roles is stopped. We also launched our Annual Report for 2017 on 27th June. The 2017 report highlighted a significant body of work carried out by the Council across all our functions including the maintenance of the Register of Medical Practitioners, monitoring the standards of undergraduate and specialist education and ensuring compliance with the maintenance of professional competence.

Last month we published a Report of Progress on the Maintenance of Professional Competence. The report highlighted that 98.3% of doctors are now enrolled in a Professional Competence Scheme. Engagement in relevant and quality CPD, including reflective practice should become the norm. It is important that doctors are supported by the Schemes and employers who are both best placed to facilitate lifelong learning. It is extremely welcomed to see that through our close collaboration with the Post Graduate Training Bodies when have now achieved a 98.3% enrolment rate.

This month we published the first reports of our inspections of intern and specialist training Clinical Sites. Inspections were carried out in a number of locations in the South/South West Hospital Group and the Saolta Hospital Group. Although some common and recurring themes did arise on our inspections there was some very positive elements highlighted in the reports and we continue to work with the clinical training sites to ensure implementation of our findings. We will be moving on to inspect other clinical training sites in other Hospital Groups in the coming months.

We have a number of initiative’s to launch and research to publish over the Autumn months which aid us all as a community in protecting patients and supporting the doctors who care for and treat them. 

Best wishes,

Bill

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