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Investigation into doctor could lead to States' debate

Investigation into doctor could lead to States' debate

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Investigation into doctor could lead to States' debate

Tuesday 26 April 2022

A deputy wants to use this week’s States’ meeting to bring out into the open what he says are “significant systemic and cultural issues of concern” about a part of the Bailiwick’s health service.

Deputy Gavin St Pier said his concerns were shared by a number of local families and have already led to an investigation into the practices and behaviour of a doctor working in the Bailiwick. The conclusion of this investigation was that no substantive concern was upheld against the doctor.

But these matters will only come to light in the States’ Assembly if deputies first agree to debate a report which is listed on the order paper for the meeting as an appendix report – an item to be tabled without discussion. The full report can be read HERE.

Deputy Gavin St Pier has lodged a motion to debate the report, which concerns the regulation and revalidation of doctors in 2021. He said that what “appears on the surface to be a routine annual report” is on this occasion “so important to be debated”.


Pictured: Deputy Gavin St Pier is concerned about an aspect of health care and wants to bring it to the attention of other deputies and the public. 

"During the period of the review, I was part of a group of families whose concerns triggered one of the investigations highlighted in this report,” said Deputy St Pier.

“Whilst the investigation found that the behaviour and practice of the doctor concerned did not quite reach the threshold for regulatory action, it did find significant systemic and cultural issues of concern, resulting in an extensive list of recommendations regarding safeguarding processes.

“It is important that our Assembly is cognisant of these recommendations.

“I hope that the Assembly wants to be assured that the recommendations are being progressed to ensure that we have the right cultures and systems that regulate the behaviours and practices of doctors, mitigating the risks to vulnerable members of the community.”

The report has been written by the island’s Medical Director, Dr Peter Rabey, in his statutory role of Responsible Officer under the Regulation of Health Professionals Law of 2015.

Dr Peter Rabey

Pictured: Dr Peter Rabey, the island's Medical Director and author of the normally routine Annual Report of the Responsible Officer.

“The role of Responsible Officer is one of the few regulatory mechanisms that the community has to ensure that clinical care and the governance and culture of our healthcare system are as they should be,” said Deputy St Pier.

Dr Rabey’s report refers briefly to an investigation of a doctor carried out last year. It does not include the name of the doctor, his or her area of work or the complaints or concerns which led to the investigation.

“Concerns about doctors may result in informal or formal management,” said Dr Rabey. “Informal management typically is used for minor matters when there is no risk to patients and the doctor demonstrates insight.

“One formal investigation under the [Law] was undertaken in 2021 with the appointment of an Authorised Person.

“The conclusion was that no substantive concern was upheld against the doctor. The doctor received words of advice in relation to the concern. This course of action was supported by the General Medical Council Employment Liaison Advisor.”

Deputy Tina Bury

Pictured: The Vice President of the Committee for Health & Social Care, Deputy Tina Bury, thinks her Committee should be open to the report being debated at this week's States' meeting.

Deputy St Pier’s motion to debate the appendix report is backed by the Vice President of the Committee for Health & Social Care, Deputy Tina Bury.

The motion, which is expected be put to States’ members tomorrow on the first day of their meeting, requires a simple majority to be carried.

Only Deputy St Pier and the President of the Committee for Health & Social Care, Deputy Al Brouard, will be permitted to speak on the motion to debate before States’ members vote on it.

Motions to debate appendix reports are normally taken early at States’ meetings – immediately after statements and questions. If States’ members approve the motion to debate, the report itself is usually debated later at the same meeting – as the penultimate item.


EYE ON POLITICS: This week in the States' Assembly...

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