The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) has launched a consultation on revised Interim Suspension Orders and Undertakings guidance.

The changes intend to:

  • Make clear that GOsC’s fitness to practise committees are all under a duty to have regard for patient safety and public protection when making Interim Suspension Order (ISO) decisions.
  • Emphasise how important proportionality is when making ISO decisions, taking into consideration the serious consequences that an ISO can have for an osteopath’s financial, professional, personal and reputational interests.
  • Provide clarity on issues including risk assessment; the circumstances in which an Undertaking (a solemn promise made by an osteopath explaining how they will voluntarily restrict their practice during the investigation) may be appropriate and a more proportionate alternative to an ISO; and the requirement for Committees to clearly explain their reasoning in their written determinations (decisions).

GOsC said on its website:

“We are proposing to make changes to the guidance that supports our fitness to practise committees in their decision-making process.

“We are seeking views from all, especially osteopaths, patients, members of the public with an interest in fitness to practise, other health and social care regulators and key organisations involved in our concerns process about our proposed changes.

“We investigate concerns and complaints from members of the public about osteopaths, to understand whether an osteopath may be unfit to practise. In some situations, an ISO may be needed to protect the public from harm while the investigation progresses, and until a final decision is made.”

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