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Independents' Day

Your first... visit to a patient's home

Dr Melanie Wynne-Jones has some words of advice for when you make your first home visit

Dr Melanie Wynne-Jones has some words of advice for when you make your first home visit

Pulse columnist Dr Phil Peverley is vowing to challenge the GMC's handling of complaints after it reopened an investigation into him, despite having already decided he had no case to answer.

Dr Peverley, a GP in Sunderland, was referred to the GMC in July after a complaint by the charity Action on Elder Abuse.

The referral followed a tongue-in-cheek column in which he lampooned elderly patients and spoke about redrawing practice boundaries to avoid a nursing home.

A GMC screening committee decided no further action was needed after the first referral.

The Press Complaints Commission also vindicated Pulse over the column, accepting that Dr Peverley was venting GPs' commonly-held frustrations in a 'cathartic interlude'.

In August, however, The People reported on the saga, in what Dr Peverley describes as a sensational 'distortion' of his column.

A reader then complained to the GMC that it had not reprimanded Dr Peverley. It launched a new investigation and has contacted Dr Peverley's employers for previous evidence of complaints. The case may take nine months.

Dr Peverley said the inconsistency in the GMC's approach reaffirmed 'pretty negative' feelings he already had about it. 'You get the impression the GMC jumps through everyone else's hoops.

'I would say this is a frivolous complaint as they had already reviewed the source material.'

Dr Peverley said he was '100 per cent confident' of being cleared of misconduct and vowed to challenge the GMC when the case was over.

'I won't let it drop. I want some answers about how the GMC vets complaints and decides what needs investigating. I don't feel like a victim, I'm not depressed or stressed but I can understand how some doctors could be affected.'

Dr Peverley also suspected he had been the subject of a newspaper 'sting', after a 'weird consultation'.

A young woman who lived in London and who said she had been abroad for the past five years registered with his practice and asked specifically for an appointment with Dr Peverley.

During the consultation she requested a letter of referral to a private clinic in Surrey and said she would collect it the next day. She has not yet been back to the practice.

 · Peverley's column, page 34

By Ian Cameron

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