GDC releases update on deaths during fitness to practise investigations

GDC releases update on disclosure of deaths during fitness to practise investigations

The GDC will no longer release its report on the cause of death of registrants who have died during an active fitness to practise investigation in the first half of this year.

Stefan Czerniawski, executive director of strategy, said while the GDC has made ‘considerable progress’, it will not be able to report findings within the first half of this year as previously promised.

Last November, the regulator was put under pressure to identify deaths by suicide while a fitness to practise case is active – but it was unable to disclose the figures.

Instead, it stated its intention to collect data for the period 2019 to 2021 and publish a report in the first half of 2023.

‘The work we have done so far has identified some additional areas of complexity in gathering and interpreting evidence,’ he said.

‘We need to consider carefully how best to address those issues, so as to be sure that we are being led by the evidence and drawing on expert advice on interpreting and presenting the data. As a result, it will take longer than we had originally anticipated to collect and review evidence.’

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Reasons for delay

Its reasons for the delay include not having the evidence it needs to report the cause of death and the need for expert advice to interpret the evidence.

Czerniawski added: ‘We now plan to complete the systematic review of our processes and collect the additional evidence we need to complete our wider review.

‘We will be engaging with experts and stakeholders to advise on our planned approach, the coding of narrative conclusions for the purposes of providing data and learning, and how to reduce the impact of any information reported about suicide and cause of death.’

Released today, you can read its evidence review here.

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