Thursday, 4 February 2010

12 Complaints against Legal Representatives of the GMC

This is a Freedom of Information Request result that was sent by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. These statistics are interesting as is the response of the SRA. We have often postulated that the reason that complaints against representatives of the GMC are not taken up is because the SRA employs an an ex GMC henchman as their member. It is difficult to see how the public can have confidence in the SRA's decision making nevertheless in conversation with Anthony Townsend, he denies there is a conflict of interest after his own assessment of the matter in question. He also denies the existence of a list of "difficult doctors" at the GMC. This conflicts with the current statement by a ex GMC Committee member which states

"The GMC dropped the case and Jeffries then reported her to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority BUT the real rub here is that the CE of the SRA is none other than Antony Towsend who from 1991 until 2001 was a senior official investigating docs in the GMC and he especially kept the list of what he described to me as difficult doctors. He went from the GMC to be CE of the Dental Council and then onto the SRA"

Freedom of Information Request - Our Ref: FOI/BS/326

I write further to my emails of 13 and 14 January 2010.

Please find below the response to your request for information under the Law Society's Freedom of Information Code of Practice ("the Code").

Your request was for the following information regarding Antony Townsend::

Please confirm

1. When he worked at the General Medical Council. The time periods would do. During this period it is rumoured that he had a informal list of doctors who had uncomfortable personalities. Please will Mr Townsend confirm whether this is true or not.

This is personal data and is being withheld under section 16 of the Code

2. During that period please confirm which solicitors at the GMC he had day to day contact with.
This information is not held by the Law Society.

3. In the last 10 years, how many complaints has the SRA or its predecessor received regarding legal representatives of the GMC. If so, what were the outcome of these complaints. Please provide this in a table.

Final Outcome

Complaint/Allegation upheld but no action 1
Complaint/Allegation not Upheld 12
Customer has not responded 1
Complaint outside our jurisdiction 1
Within jurisdiction but investigation declined 2
Grand Total 17

Please see the following explanation to put the information in the above table into context:

The table is limited to those allegations of misconduct where either the subject firm was recorded as the GMC or the subject solicitor was recorded on the SRA database as employed by GMC at the point of the complaint. So it would not include any complaints made about solicitors acting for GMC where they were not employed by the GMC. We do not have a way of identifying solicitors acting for GMC, if they were employed by another firm that was the subject of the complaint. So the table does not include information about solicitors instructed by the GMC.

4. Please outline whether the solicitors complained about in point 3 also worked with Anthony Townsend at the GMC.

This information is not held by the Law Society.

I hope the above information is of use.

Yours sincerely

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
P Go green - keep it on screen


Anonymous said...

I have made a further complaint about Shipway of Radcliffes Le Brasseur for failing to protect doctors interests in the GMC.

It is notable that Wakefield was represented by Leslie of the same firm - so he was in difficulty before starting out.

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