Anecdotes at network meetings indicate that HR teams in some organisations continue to send Medical Practice Information Transfer (MPIT) form requests as part of the pre-employment process, prior to the doctor being appointed by the organisation. Responsible officers are advised to take care to respond appropriately to such requests.
The Information Flows guidance (link below) makes it clear that ‘there is currently no provision for a responsible officer to provide routine assurance to any person or body…as part of pre-employment checks…’. The responsible officer therefore does not have a role in pre-employment processes. It is important not to be drawn into sharing information inappropriately, to avoid the risk of complaint about adversely affecting a doctor’s job application.
If the doctor’s prescribed connection will be to the new organisation, then the standard MPIT from the old responsible to the new responsible officer will be appropriate, but after the prescribed connection moves, i.e. on commencement of the doctor’s employment.
If the doctor’s prescribed connection will remain with the existing responsible officer and there is information of note about the doctor’s practice relevant to their practice in the new organisation, then their responsible officer should share that with the responsible office in the new organisation, but again only after the appointment process is complete.
It is perhaps understandable that some HR departments will misunderstand the subtleties of this situation. Responsible officers and their teams may therefore find it helpful to use the form of words in Toolkit 4 of the Information Flows guidance, which gives a standard response to such an enquiry. Organisations should bear in mind they can ask the doctor about any information of note as part of the pre-employment process, in addition to their medical appraisal and revalidation history, and correlate this with information transferred after appointment.
Occasionally it will be necessary for a responsible officer to act outside this advice on the grounds of patient safety, and this is allowed for in the Information Flows guidance. In such circumstances they should exert their professional judgement. Their decision may also be assisted by discussion with others such as the GMC employer liaison adviser or their higher-level responsible officer.