Feeds

Doctors aim to have Chief Medical Officer struck off

Donaldson's database debacle

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Doctors will this week mount a court battle for the chance to have Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, struck off for his role in a disastrous computer system.

Remedy UK, a campaign group representing 1,600 doctors, will use a judicial review starting tomorrow to try to force the General Medical Council (GMC) to launch an inquiry into Donaldson's fitness to practice. The case is centred on the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS), a centralised web-based job application system for doctors, which caused chaos when it was imposed by the government in 2007.

A subsequent independent review said MTAS had "sparked the biggest crisis within the medical profession in a generation", leaving thousands of junior doctors without training posts. There were also serious security weaknesses, which allowed job applicants to view each others' records.

Donaldson was regarded as the architect of MTAS and its umbrella programme, Modernising Medical Careers. Remedy UK referred his alleged mismanagement of the system to the GMC in 2008, but was told that because MTAS was not directly related to clinical work, Donaldson could not be investigated.

This week's judicial review will test that argument, against those of Remedy UK's lawyers, who argue there are many precendents for the GMC to act. Among others, they cite the case of Dr John Roylance, who was chief executive of hospitals involved in the Bristol heart surgery scandal. Although he was in a management position and had no clinical involvement, the GMC struck him off.

Remedy UK co-founder Matt Jameson-Evans said today: "We have been completely let down.

"There should be one rule for all medics, without exceptions. We are drawing a line in the sand over cronyism and lack of accountability in the upper echelons of the medical profession."

The judicial review has been funded by online donations from Remedy UK's members.

A spokeswoman for the GMC told The Register it would not comment on the case ahead of the court hearing.

After several months of what the Health Select Committee described as "unrelenting chaos", then-Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt pulled the plug on the £6.3m MTAS system in May 2007, just before Remedy UK was due to challenge it in court. A month later she quit the cabinet, citing personal reasons.

Donaldson announced his retirement as Chief Medical Officer at the end of last year. He is due to step down at the end of this month. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.