Chapter 6: The General Medical Council
The General Medical Council (GMC) is the only body that can remove a doctor from practice, suspend or place conditions upon a doctor’s right to practise in the UK.
The GMC’s primary role is to protect patients (GMC000504, p7). In 2002, the Medical Act 1983 was amended to insert section 1A (GMC101215, p211), which stated: “The main objective of the General Council in exercising their functions is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public.” The overarching objective of the GMC is set out in primary legislation:
“(1A) The over-arching objective of the General Council in exercising their functions is the protection of the public.
(1B) The pursuit by the General Council of their over-arching objective involves the pursuit of the following objectives—
(a) to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and well-being of the public,
(b) to promote and maintain public confidence in the medical profession, and
(c) to promote and maintain proper professional standards and conduct for members of that profession.”
This chapter sets out what the documents reveal about the GMC’s investigation into events at Gosport War Memorial Hospital (‘the hospital’) and the conduct of Dr Jane Barton, a clinical assistant. The background to the GMC’s processes is provided in Appendix 2.