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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GMC drafts expert witness guidance

The GMC is inviting responses to draft guidance on acting as an expert witness.

The guidance, which follows last year's Court of Appeal

decision in the case of Professor Sir Roy Meadow, covers giving evidence, keeping knowledge up to date, dealing with conflicts of interest and knowing when to raise concerns about other doctors.

It emphasises practising within the limits of professional competence, explaining where there is a range of opinion and verifying data accuracy.

It also stresses that for doctors to be competent as an

expert witness they must

understand the framework of law for the area they work in, must be up to date in their discipline and understand how to construct a court report and how to give oral evidence.

Professor Sir Graeme Catto, GMC president, said: 'The guidance on expert witnesses is supported by the recent Court of Appeal decision to uphold the view that the public must be confident that doctors and other professionals, who give evidence in court proceedings, can, if necessary, be held to account by their regulator.'

The GMC has also created draft guidance on writing

references.

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