Information flows

Information flows to support medical governance and responsible officer statutory function.

The responsible officer regulations and GMC guidance make it clear that there is an obligation to share information about a doctor when required to support the responsible officer’s statutory duties, or to maintain patient safety.

Since the publication of the Medical Practice Information Transfer (MPIT) form in 2012, no framework has been developed by which information about a doctor should be shared and flow within the clinical governance, medical revalidation and appraisal processes. Responsible officer networks have highlighted a number of issues and concerns regarding such information, including lack of a consistent approach and inappropriate requests.

Information flows to support medical governance and responsible officer statutory function‘ (2016) therefore aims to promote improvements to these processes:

  • setting out the common legitimate channels along which information about a doctor’s medical practice should flow, describing the information that might apply and arrangements to support its smooth flow
  • providing useful toolkits and examples of good practice

The guidance is relevant to all designated bodies in England, across all sectors and is of particular importance to responsible officers, human resource, clinical governance, information governance departments, appraisers and doctors.

For ease of reference, the information flows are set out in both diagram format and detailed/summary table formats, including by role responsibility; and by routine or ad hoc situations:

Routine sharing of information occurs:

when a doctor takes up or ends employment

  • at appraisal
  • at revalidation

Ad hoc sharing of information occurs:

  • When information of note arises
  • When fitness to practise procedures are necessary