Simpson to boost patient protection in GMC role

The General Medical Council has appointed Hugh Simpson to its head of public affairs post as it bids to better protect patients in the wake of the Harold Shipman inquiry.

Simpson will join the GMC in early December from Lexington Communications, where he is a senior consultant. Previous post-holder Matt Ball left for consultancy firm Accenture (PRWeek, 15 July).

A GMC spokeswoman said Simpson would 'lobby in Europe on patient protection issues'.

The GMC wants foreign doctors to be compelled to register with it despite an EU directive aimed at encouraging the free movement of professionals in general across borders.

It is also keen to boost information sharing between European healthcare regulators to ensure doctors stuck off in their native country are not allowed to practice in the UK. The GMC came in for heavy criticism as the atrocities of serial killer Harold Shipman became clear.

Simpson will also assist in the opening of the body's Northern Ireland office at the end of the year. He will report to GMC director of policy and corporate affairs Andrew Ketteringham.

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