Suspension of a consultant doctor (FOI)
Suspension of a consultant doctor (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 02 March 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
JEP 29 Jan 2022 informed about a suspension of a long term consultant doctor Mike Richardson. Dr Richardson was suspended hours after the Overdale rehabilitation unit voting which went against to the minister of health, chief medical director and chief nurse opinions. Senator Pellett mentioned in the debate staff being scared to speak out.
Was Dr Richardson suspended for presenting opinions not aligned with the minister and chief medical director?
Was he suspended by the regulator (GMC) or was it just a local Jersey Health / Hospital management decision?
How many consultants were effectively suspended from practice or forced to take leave against their will for any period of time by local Health/ Hospital management decisions (without being suspended by GMC) in the period of 2018 until now?
What is the law / other regulations and governance concerning the decision to suspend or otherwise ban from practice Jersey consultants?
A and B
The requested information is not available for release as it would be considered personal identifiable information and its release would breach the privacy of the individual(s) concerned. Article 25 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) 2011 Law has been applied.
However, please note that a statement was made to the media by Connétable Buchannan as follows:
"The States Employment Board does not routinely comment on proceedings involving individual employees. However, following sustained speculation, we feel obliged to provide this update.
"All complaints involving clinicians require us to follow established procedures. We do this alongside the standards set out by the General Medical Council. In such cases, the suspension of an employee is a neutral act and no adverse inference should be drawn. In this instance the complaint is unrelated to the recent political debate concerning the provision of healthcare services from Samarès Ward.
"We are committed to treating our employees with respect and do not propose to comment further."
In the period from 2018 – 2021 there were fewer than five consultants suspended for any period of time.
Where numbers are fewer than five, disclosure control is applied to avoid identification of any individuals. Article 25 (Personal information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied.
The Policy for the "Handling of Concerns and Disciplinary Procedures relating to the Conduct and Performance of Doctors and Dentists", is the framework which has been developed at a national level and has been adopted by the Government of Jersey. The policy sets out clear processes for handling disciplinary procedures relating to doctors and dentists. These include dealing with issues of Professional Misconduct and Capability and Restriction / Exclusion from work.
Before a decision is taken to exclude (suspend) a practitioner, the reasons for exclusion are discussed with NHS Resolutions. NHS Resolutions are an independent arms-length body that provides advice and support in relation to managing concerns about doctors and dentists.
The General Medical Council (GMC) also has a range of actions they can take on a doctor's registration. With regards to suspension imposed by the regulatory body, the mechanism is a referral to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, which has the power to restrict, suspend or revoke a doctor's registration.
Article 25 - Personal information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if – (a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018; and (b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.
(3) In determining for the purposes of this Article whether the lawfulness principle in Article 8(1)(a) of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 would be contravened by the disclosure of information, paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 2 to that Law (legitimate interests) is to be read as if sub-paragraph (b) (which disapplies the provision where the controller is a public authority) were omitted.