Medical Council hires first comms director

The General Medical Council (GMC) has appointed its first director of communications, following widespread criticism that the organisation has been slow to respond to issues affecting the medical profession.

The General Medical Council (GMC) has appointed its first director

of communications, following widespread criticism that the organisation

has been slow to respond to issues affecting the medical profession.



Andrew Ketteringham will take up the post when he completes his notice

as communications director at the Broadcasting Standards Commission

(BSC).



He held the position for two-and-a-half years, after joining the

watchdog in April 1997.



Ketteringham will report to GMC chief executive Finlay Scott, and will

join an existing media relations team of four, lead by media relations

manager Stephanie Day.



However, Ketteringham’s brief is seen as a separate, more tactical role

that will include taking a closer look at government relations and

publications.



His appointment coincides with the council being put under the

spotlight, particularly for what has been deemed its slow reaction to

the exploits of serial-killing doctor Harold Shipman, struck off by the

GMC last week for killing at least 15 patients.



Ketteringham insisted his appointment was not as a result of the Shipman

affair. He conceded that there is a need for the council to improve its

communications and Day added that the Shipman and Royal Bristol

Infirmary fatality affairs merely underlined a need for change already

recognised by the GMC.



’It is that recognition that lead to the appointment. The council has

made changes to its approach in which it determines what the key

messages are and how they need to be communicated to its target

audience,’ he added.



The GMC is the regulatory body responsible for the medical

profession.



On 9 February, it announced an overhaul of the regulation and

disciplinary procedures for doctors.



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