Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twelfth Report

Second Memorandum by the Department of Health


  1. The Committee has requested the Department to submit a Memorandum on the following points.

    The declaration required of a medical practitioner by the new paragraph 6A of Schedule 3 Part III of the principal regulations when he applies for a practice vacancy requires him to declare whether-

    (a)  he has been bound over or cautioned (or convicted) of a criminal offence.

    (b)  he has been or is the subject of any action by any "licensing or regulatory body" (or by his disciplinary body).


    (i)    whether (a) above is intended to cover binding over to keep the peace (e.g. in neighbour squabbles);

    (ii)  whether (a) above is intended to cover a caution (by a police officer) in relation to an alleged offence of a minor nature (e.g. traffic offence) as well as one of a serious nature;

    (iii)  As to (b) above, what licensing bodies and what regulatory bodies are contemplated.

  2. The answer to (i) and (ii) is yes. The intention is to cover all bind overs and cautions, irrespective of the circumstances that give rise to them. Some offences which are minor in criminal terms may be particularly relevant to a doctor's suitability for a post. Moreover, the declaration of a bind over, caution or conviction does not bar a medical practitioner from inclusion in a medical list. It is a matter that a Health Authority must take into account when exercising its discretion as to whether to admit the practitioner to its list.

  3. With respect to (iii), examples would be the General Medical Council and organisations in other countries that approve doctors and regulate their conduct, for example the Bundesartztkammer in Germany and the Organizacion Medica Colegial in Spain. The intention is to catch bodies concerned with the professional practice of doctors and the reference to "any licensing or regulatory body" is intended to be read in the context of the immediately preceding reference to a doctor's "professional body".

22nd February 2000

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