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ATOS doctors: complain to the GMC?

Discussion in 'benefits and housing' started by Quartz, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. Quartz

    Quartz Eclectic contrarian plebeian

    I saw in another thread that many of the ATOS doctors aren't full-time doctors. I'm wondering if complaints to the GMC after successful appeals might be in order?

    Similarly, if a doctor signs off a skiver, the DWP might complain to the GMC. (Sauce for the goose & all that).

    The end result (it will take a while for the arseholes to get the message) should be a marked improvement in medical assessments, meaning fewer appeals and a reduction in cost for the DWP meaning it can pay out more in benefits.

    One can dream...
    Meltingpot likes this.
  2. yardbird

    yardbird Understands love.

    Many of the ATOS assessors are not doctors at all.
    "Medical Professionals", often nurses, or doctors qualified abroad who can't get any other employment.
    Meltingpot likes this.
  3. Quartz

    Quartz Eclectic contrarian plebeian

    But they still have to be certified by the GMC to work, don't they?
  4. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Untermensch, and proud!

    What we know is that British "medical professionals" n public practice can be reported to their respective boards/professional associations, who have the power to sanction them.
    However, it isn't clear (from what I've been able to find, anyway) that British and non-British medical professionals have to be members of those British boards/professional associations (mostly the GMC and the RCN) in order to practice only in what is effectively a private capacity (i.e. working for ATOS) over here.
  5. WouldBe

    WouldBe non smoking

    Report them to the GMC or Nursing and midwifery council. Falsifying medical records is a stike-offable offence. :)

    I will be reporting the nurse who did my assessment when I prove her wrong at tribunal. :)
    stephj, Quartz and Meltingpot like this.
  6. Mikey77

    Mikey77 Banned Banned

    The grounds for complaint are on the GMC website, but as someone has said I don't think you can complain to the GMC about nurses. I wish someone would complain to the GMC about the scumbag doctors who do medical reports for local authorities when people apply for housing. They would uphold such a complaint easily.
  7. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    I think a fair few of them are moonlighting. You don't have to nab many to make it impossible for a genuinely qualified professional to work for them and discredit the whole process.

    I'm sure I've seen some stuff about getting the GMC involved. A doctor went undercover to find out how they operated and wrote it up - might have been from there. I'll go have a look.
  8. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    stephj and Quartz like this.
  9. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    This bit, from the first article above is rather handy ...

  10. Mikey77

    Mikey77 Banned Banned

    Does anyone know if a complaint has to be made for the GMC to investigate? The process always strikes me as a bit irresponsible. It seems like it could be public knowledge that a doctor is engaged in dubious examinations, yet it seems that the GMC does not pro-actively investigate these doctors, instead waiting for people to make complaints, and insisting as part of the complaints procedure that the patient will have to attend as a witness if there is a hearing into the doctor's conduct. Have I got it wrong here or do the GMC initiate investigations without anyone having complained about a doctor?
  11. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    They don't just magically know what every doctor is up to - someone has to make a complaint. It would most often be colleagues, sometimes patients, and since Shipman and the Bristol heart scandal there is a new monitoring system to identify unusually high rates of poor outcomes so that action can be taken earlier if summat seems amiss.
  12. Mikey77

    Mikey77 Banned Banned

    I didn't suggest magic. But in my earlier example of doctors and their dubious medical examinations on behalf of local authorities these cases have attracted media attention (Guardian) and have been mentioned in the high court on a number of occasions. I don't believe the GMC offer any way to report one of their members unless you make a complaint. That is what I am looking for clarification on. It seems that if the GMC were proactive about this they would allow people to report doctors without making complaints.

    Edited to add: I mean that in the sense of being allowed to report a doctor anonymously; where you are not a patient of that doctor, and where you are not expected to give evidence.
  13. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    I don't understand why you would want to report someone unless you had a complaint to make. You would presumably have a reason for reporting them.

    I can't see a professional body allowing anonymous reporting - it's a licence to harrass.

    It is highly likely that consulting the GMC has at least been considered in cases which receive media attention or end up in court, if the complaint involves a doctor (and not a different type of health professional, or just Atos as an organisation).
  14. Mikey77

    Mikey77 Banned Banned

    Of course you might have a complaint to make, but we are talking about the GMC and their complaints process. As I said my point is that if the GMC were proactive they would allow doctors to be reported without the complainant being dragged in as a witness which I believe is the procedure at the moment.

    It might have been considered in cases that receive media attention, but it is interesting that so many high court appeals can take place against doctors without the GMC becoming involved. It seems to me that solicitors prefer to do their own thing through the courts and that people dealing with local authorities are probably never made aware of the GMC being an option for them. They will always end up going down the legal route - probably on the advice of the Citizen's Advice Bureau or other organisations.

    In any case my point still stands. The cases I am talking about have had enough publicity for the GMC to be aware of them and the high court judgements should have raised eyebrows if anyone at the GMC gave a toss.
  15. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    The appeals are not against doctors, they are against the decision. The conduct of the assessor may or may not be part of the case.

    The GMC is taking notice. That is why the BMA (the doctors union) are threatening them with legal action over it (which is fucking ridiculous because they have far more members whose professional judgement is being over-ridden by the Atos doctors).

    I've no idea why you've got such a bee in your bonnet about this. You cannot have anonymous complainants refusing to give evidence about their complaint. How the fuck can they proceed on that basis? The complaint would have to be based either on what happened during the assessment (no other witnesses available) or discrepancies in the scores compared to the medically obvious facts (which would be impossible to examine if the complainant was anonymous).
  16. Mikey77

    Mikey77 Banned Banned

    You will need to read the above again. I am referring more generally to the GMC taking issue with their own doctors, not about particular decisions ATOS make. That is why I referred to doctors' medical reports on behalf of local authorities when people apply for housing. That is a separate, but very similar issue.

    I don't feel I am hijacking the thread here. I am referring more generally to the GMC, their complaints procedure, and how they could go about investigating their own doctors if they had the will to. I am not referring to individual decisions.
  17. toggle

    toggle on holiday to complete thesis

    I doubt the GMC can regulate who a doctor works for and investigate them on the grounds they have chosen to work for a particular company, even of that company is as shit as atos. it's still down to complaining about individula decisions of individual doctors.

    my feeling is that there is often very valid grounds for complaint, but that few have the energy for more of a fight after an appeal
  18. Mikey77

    Mikey77 Banned Banned

    Hi Toggle, I have looked into this in the past in relation to local authorities and housing. I can't be arsed to look it up again, but if my memory serves me rightly the GMC can even find their own doctors at fault for giving opinions on medical conditions which are not their speciality. So for example a GP who examines a patient with a psychiatric condition and gives a report on that person may be in breach of the guidelines since he is not a psychiatrist. This is the kind of thing I have in mind. Doctors with ATOS might be doing this regularly, and not being held to account for it.

    My feeling is that people are not familiar enough with the GMC and its complaints process to use it when doctor's are abusing their positions. I have been in a situation in the past where I would have definitely used the GMC complaints procedure in this kind of situation, but did not know about it.
  19. toggle

    toggle on holiday to complete thesis

    it's not just knowing about it though,it's having the headspace to be able to use it. that is what I doubt tbh.and supporting people through complaints won't be the priority of most support organisations.

    i suppose thre could be a get out clause in that in a lot of cases, the doctor isn't making a diagnosis, they are assessing someone's diagnosis and specialist opinions on that in relation to fixed criteria. i know it dosen't work that way, but that is the theory i'm thinking of atm. getting complaints upheld has always been exceedingly difficult from what i can recall.
  20. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    That's exactly the groundwork that is being laid now by these cases. It's being argued that working for Atos is a breach of the duty of care.

    It's covered in the links I posted earlier. I assumed you'd read them, hence my confusion.
    toggle and frogwoman like this.
  21. frogwoman

    frogwoman I welcome your experience

    I thought they weren't even medical professionals anyway, in which case how can the GMC do anything about it?
  22. frogwoman

    frogwoman I welcome your experience

    ah well, the atossers will get theirs.

    i had heard that some of them were doctors struck off either here or overseas.
  23. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    They're a mixture of doctors, nurses and other randoms. There are plenty of GMC registered doctors doing it.

    I posted a bit of an article earlier about appeals being successul on the grounds that the doctor employed by Atos was not registered with the GMC, so every doctor in the process is either covered by the GMC, or is a de facto grounds for appeal. :cool: This is presumably true for the other professional bodies as I can't see any legal differences between doctors and nurses wrt this issue.
  24. frogwoman

    frogwoman I welcome your experience

    is their any truth to the idea tht they're employing lots of struck-off doctors?
  25. toggle

    toggle on holiday to complete thesis

    don't know, but it sounds well worthwhile getting as much detail about the assessor as possible to find out whether they should even be working in that job
  26. frogwoman

    frogwoman I welcome your experience

    Part of the problem with all of these privatisations in healthcare is the fact that dodgy people are able to call themselves healthcare professionals, it's been a problem for years in the states with dodgy christian therapists forcing people to be straight etc :(
  27. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Untermensch, and proud!

    Not only do they not proactively police their membership, they probably wouldn't be able to afford to, on top of the current (slow and arduous) tribunal system.
  28. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

  29. redsnapper

    redsnapper Vintage Urban

    One thing that muddies the waters however is that they tell you when you go for the interview that its not them, the assessor on the day that makes the final decision. They only complete the yes/no questionnaire, and they made it clear I needn't attempt to elaborate on my answers beyond yes/no. The actual final decision is apparently made by someone else/others? nowt to do with the assessment on the day. They say that to remain on benefit you must get 15 points at least tho so what's to weigh up? Surely someone just tots up how many you answered yes and how many no. Then turn those results into points using whatever system they're using, no? Baffling and it gives me a feeling they're being underhand in their ways at times and that makes me uneasy to say the least.
    Minnie_the_Minx likes this.
  30. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx purves grundy - definitely a bloke

    There's absolutely no way a yes/no questionnaire is suitable in any circumstances, even more so when a condition is variable

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