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
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
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
On 9 February, it announced an overhaul of the regulation and
disciplinary procedures for doctors.