The General Medical Council has made a raft of new appointments aimed at getting its core message across to a sceptical public.
The body, which acts as a register for doctors and regulates the medical profession, has made three major staff changes in its communications department.
Andrew Ketteringham, director of communications since earlier this year (PRWeek, 18 February), has added two more staff to his five-strong unit.
David Morris-Johnson, a press officer with the organisation for two years, starts in January in a new role of e-communications manager. He is tasked with managing the GMC's website, and hopes to make it more user-friendly and interactive.
Patrick McGuirk has joined in the newly-created role of public affairs manager. McGuirk was previously at AS Biss and Co, where he has been a consultant for three years. He started last week in the pan-UK role - health is devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - and will complete a public affairs plan and hire external agency support if needed.
The GMC may turn again to Westminster Strategy, which it used earlier this year (PRWeek, 19 May) to guide it through the Government's Fitness to Practice legislation. Until McGuirk's appointment the role of linking the GMC with government was done by Ketteringham.
To fill the gap created by Morris-Johnson's move, Ketteringham has hired Jo Tupper as a press officer. She joined this week from the Scout Association where she was a press officer for three years.
The GMC has been criticised in the past for protecting the interests of doctors at the expense of patients. 'The purpose of the GMC is to protect the patient rather than the profession,' Ketteringham stressed.