The Committee’s report, finds The GMC has worked hard to put in place effective safeguards to weed out the small number of doctors that present a risk to patients.

Mencap thinks the Health Committee findings are in complete contradiction to many of the experiences of people with a learning disability, their family members and carers.

Some doctors do not deliver reasonably adjusted healthcare as required by the Equality Act, and do not act in line with the Mental Capacity Act.

However, despite Mencap supporting several referrals to the GMC Fitness to Practice, to date only one individual doctor has been sanctioned as a result of the poor care they have delivered to a person with a learning disability. 

Jan Tregelles, Chief Executive of the Royal Mencap Society, commented on the report:

The Health Committees findings are in complete contradiction to many of the experiences of people with a learning disability, their family members and carers.  1,200 people with a learning disability die avoidably within the NHS every single year. 

We have found [1] a reason for this to be that some doctors continue to make discriminatory assumptions about their quality of life, do not deliver reasonably adjusted healthcare as required by the Equality Act, and do not act in line with the Mental Capacity Act.  However, despite Mencap supporting several referrals to the GMC Fitness to Practice, to date only one individual doctor has been sanctioned as a result of the poor care they have delivered to a person with a learning disability. 

By the end of today a further three people with a learning disability could have died in the NHS. To help prevent this, the GMC’s Fitness to Practice procedures are in urgent need of reform.

These are people like Kirsty Jayne Pearce who was just 17 years old when she died avoidably within the NHS.  It took Chas, her father, nearly 10 years to get answers. In 2011, an Inquest finally took place and concluded serious medical failings in the care contributed to Kirsty’s death, however, the GMC have subsequently refused to re-open the case.

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For more information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson or a case study, contact Mencap Press Office, on 020 7696 5414 or media@mencap.org.uk.

Notes to editors

[1] Mencap’s Death by indifference Case exposed the unequal healthcare and institutional discrimination that people with a learning disability often experience within the NHS.

 About Mencap

There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK . Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities.

Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.

For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email help@mencap.org.uk.