I was sent this letter by a doctor (as you will see when you read it).

It may give you ideas about how to protect yourself in your defence.

Please note that the advice contained in this letter is not necessarily correct, and the letter is published here simply as a guide. You should be aware that if you choose to take any of the advice given here, you should note that neither the website author (myself), nor the website host shall be liable to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by what is contained in or omitted from this letter. I recommend seeking local advice from either a lawyer, trade union rep or other source of assistance. 

                                                                                                                                                                    Your Name

Your address

Your Telephone number

Your email address

Date

 

Medical Director/ Person in charge

Employer's address

 

Dear (insert name)

 

Re: (Insert your name and address and GMC registration number)

Representative(s)

I wish to inform you that my representative is/are:

Name

Address

Telephone (Direct)

Telephone (Switchboard)

Telephone (Secretary)

Fax

Email

Reference number

Please ensure that a copy of all future correspondence, including your response to this letter is sent directly to this person at the same time it is written quoting the appropriate reference number in all correspondence.

Please confirm that you will do this and that copies of correspondence with my representatives will have the above reference number on.

I will donate the cost of postage and £0.05 for each sheet of copying you do to the hospital league of friends each time you have to do this.

Charges

I would like a fully comprehensive list of charges against me together with a copy of all supportive evidence together with your underlying concern about how these charges bear on my job as a doctor. I would like to draw your attention to Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. Please note that

The GMC website says: ”We do not act on trivial or anonymous complaints”. (http://www.gmc-uk.org/probdocs/default.htm I would also like written documentation to show that patients are concerned about these matters and all written patient complaints.

I also want a comprehensive list of what areas of concern you have. I am willing to voluntarily restrict my clinical practice and not work in any areas that you have concern about so long as you can give supportive evidence of underperformance that is consistent with my stage of training and that you do not exaggerate any claims of underperformance. I am also willing to work under very strict supervision and undergo remedial training if need be. However that remedial training must be independently done.

When you send me this list please confirm that this list is fully comprehensive.

Restrictions on practice

I would like to know what restrictions there are on my clinical practice at this moment in time and if you plan to make any restrictions on my private practice or have done.

Procedures to be followed

I would like to have a copy of the procedure(s) that will be followed together with written confirmation that this procedure will be strictly adhered to and the timescale in which you expect this matter to be competed. Please note that John Denham former Minister of Health said on Friday, 30 March, 2001, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK that no innocent doctor should be kept from working for more than six months by investigations (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/health/1251196.stm)

I would like to point out that Good Medical Practice states that in the case of a health care professional that is causing concern the employer’s procedures must be followed. Please confirm that all proceedings will be undertaken in accordance with current legislation including the Human Rights Act and that my Human Rights will not be violated in any way. You may want to know that the Human Rights act is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights I would like to know if it is your intention to stop me practicing as a doctor.

Further meetings

Should any further meetings take place I would be grateful if you could liase with my representative as to the date, timing and location of such a meeting. Can you confirm in writing that you will do this?

I will tape any such meetings. I will bring two tape recorders and make two copies simultaneously. At the end of the meeting I will give you a copy of the tape. I may well bring more tape recorders so my representatives will have copies.

Prior to any such meeting I would like a copy of the agenda of the meeting sent to both myself and my representative, confirmation that this will be done and that you will adhere to the Human Rights Act article 6 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Prior to any meeting I would like to know which people would be attending and any conflicts of interest declared.

The agenda should be sent to all parties at least seven days prior to each meeting as should the written outcome of the meeting within reasonable time. Please confirm that this will be done.

Employment status

I would like to know where I stand and my status in formal employment terms. I have/have not been submitting sick notes, applied for special leave or study leave or a sabbatical. (Delete as appropriate) I would like to know whether I am on full pay or not. There was a letter circulated to all trusts on 11 December 2001 from the Government’s chief medical officer saying that if there are serious concerns about a doctor then before suspension the NCAA should be consulted.

Can you tell me what happens if this matter is not sorted out by the time my fixed term contract ends and what happens to my pay from that point onwards?

Should I resign from my post I would like to know what action the Trust would take.

Referral to external bodies

I would like to know if I have been referred to any external body or if you are planning to do so. If such a referral has taken place or is going to take place then I would like a copy of all correspondence with this external body/bodies as soon as they are written together with any file notes of any conversations. I would like a copy of this to be sent directly to my representative. Please confirm that you will do this and that should you make any communication to any external body regarding my case you will notify me of this. Should you make any communication to an external body please confirm that such a letter will be truthful and give the full facts and that any evidence you submit will not be selective. Note that Good Medical Practice (http://www.gmc-uk.org/standards/good.htm) says “You must not write or sign documents which are false or misleading because they omit relevant information.”

In such a case I would like a copy of all referral letters sent to myself and my representatives at the time they are written and in your referral letter I would like you to ask that external body to copy their response directly to me and my representative quoting the appropriate reference numbers.

Please note that in BMA News on Saturday March 15 2003 the Health Ombudsman Ann Abraham said:” I am very much of the view that the best place for complaints to be dealt with is at a local level as quickly as possible, preferably by the people who are the cause of the complaint in the first place.”

The National Clinical Assessment Authority

Please note that if you are planning to refer me to the NCAA you need my consent.

For the NCAA to consider the possibility of an assessment of a Doctor in training there has to be clear unequivocal written confirmation that the request for assessment is the joint action of both the Trust and the Postgraduate dean. The only situation where Postgraduate Deans may wish NCAA to be involved in the assessment of Doctors in training would be in the rare situation where “a trainee lacks insight into a profound problem and therefore may leave the stewardship of the Dean and seek employment as a Doctor elsewhere thus placing patient safety at risk.”

Please note that if you wish to refer me to the GMC, their website states that local procedures must be exhausted first.

Alert letter

On top of that I want to know if an alert letter has been sent out about me and if so under what grounds and if this action has been done in accordance with the law. Should you send an alert letter I want notification of this.

According to the Department of Health Web site an alert letter should only be issued if  the doctor poses "serious potential or actual risk to patients or staff" and the Circular on this requires there to be " sufficient, reasonable grounds to support the view that the employee could be a potential danger to the safety of patients".

Please confirm that you will do this and that you will follow the set procedure for this and send me a copy of the procedure should you take this route.

Motives

I would like to know if there is any racial intent behind your actions (delete if needed)

I would like to know if your actions are because I have raised concerns about certain matters.

I would like to know if your actions are because someone has taken a dislike to me.

Pension

Please note that law protects my pension and you cannot take this away from me.

Bullying and harassment.

I would like a guarantee that no attempts will be made to bully, harass or victimise me in any way.

Material you hold on me

I also look forward to receiving the information that I am entitled to under section 7(1) or the 1998 Data Protection Act.

If you need further information from me, or a fee, please let me know as soon as possible.

If you do not normally handle these requests for your organisation, please pass this letter to your Data Protection Officer or another appropriate official.

Given that my records would no doubt have been updated in the last forty days there should not be a fee for this.

Please send a copy of this file directly to my representatives. I am willing to pay £0.05 per sheet for photocopying and postage for this purpose.

Mediation

I am happy to mediate through an independent mediator if you are willing.

I would like to know your secretary's direct telephone number, fax, and mailing address and email address.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely

Your name

In the case of the GMC the GMC is a registered charity. So all you need to

do if you are referred to the GMC is add the following.

 

Please send a copy of all correspondence directly to the following

 

Name

Address

Telephone (Direct)

Telephone (Switchboard)

Telephone (Secretary)

Fax

Email

Reference number