FIPO National Medical Advisory Committee
FIPO Nat-MAC Meeting October 2012
A general meeting for all independent sector MAC Chairmen and/or their deputies was held on 24th October 2012 at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The topic under discussion was the Current Issues in Independent Practice. Members of the FIPO Board spoke and there were active contributions from the audience. Any MAC Chairman requiring further information can contact the FIPO office.Further details click here...
Background to Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) responsibilities and functions in the Independent Sector - June 2012
Medical Advisory Committees (MACs) in all UK independent hospitals are seeing their roles increase. The original Care Standards Act imposed statutory responsibilities on the MAC Chairman and the whole committee. Revalidation will mean an increased workload and the advent of Responsible Officers and enhanced appraisal is currently being implemented. This will add another layer of governance with considerable resource implications as consultants, whether fully independent or the much larger group who have a NHS contract, will be asking for their private hospital performance data for appraisal purposes. In addition there will be a need for internal appraisal for private hospital employed staff which will have to be arranged by the Responsible Officer.
The MAC will be required to impose stricter rules on consultants over issues such as audit, note keeping and clinical practice. Complaints, clinical incidents and the involvement of the GMC are likely to increase. MACs in larger hospitals will need to oversee subgroups of consultants responsible for governance and quality issues and some hospitals are appointing Medical Directors to assist in a supervisory role.
The recent OFT report has emphasised the need for a cost/quality assessment and whilst this is now going to be part of the Competition Commission Market Study there is a greater emphasis on outcome measures by the regulators and the insurers. In addition, the changes being introduced by some insurers and regulators involve a growing intrusion in to consultant performance and scope of practice. For these reasons the "advisory" role of the MAC Chairman and Committee will be enhanced.
Membership and Functions of FIPO National Medical Advisory Committee (FIPO Nat-MAC)
FIPO Nat-MAC has been established in order to
- Provide a more general and direct access to the FIPO Board and thus to be updated with national events involving independent practice
- Provide two-way communication between consultants and FIPO and thus a direct link to the "local" consultants
- Provide support and co-ordination of certain activities of MAC Chairmen and to give unbiased advice in specific cases
- Provide professional guidance and education about the legal responsibilities of the MAC
The reasons for MAC Committees / Chairmen to become involved with FIPO Nat-MAC are that they are often isolated despite increasing responsibilities. FIPO Nat-MAC will correct this by supporting these consultant leaders with an independent professional organisation which will inform, co-ordinate (when necessary) and provide medical insight into new legislation.
There is also a need for local consultants to be fully briefed on Private Medical Insurance (PMI) issues and the MAC Chairmen needs to lead locally on all this. The next two years will see the Competition Commission carry out its function and the FIPO Nat-MAC will link MAC Chairmen to a confidential national and purely medical network. This will assist in a two way exchange of information and help shape the professional responses to the Competition Commission and the other issues facing the profession.
Without independent support and advice, MAC Chairmen are sometimes left in a quandary over specific issues and will be increasingly personally vulnerable as the legislation and PMI pressures increase and become more complex.
FIPO Nat-MAC Structure
FIPO Nat-MAC fits into the overall FIPO structure with representatives of MAC Chairmen nominated to sit on the FIPO main Board. Currently, in June 2012, there are three MAC Chairmen who have been nominated.
General meetings of MAC chairmen are arranged periodically and these meetings (The FIPO Nat-MAC General Committee Meetings) are open to all independent hospital MAC Chairmen and/or their deputy.
FIPO MAC Guidelines
At several previous FIPO Nat-MAC meetings the MAC Chairmen requested some more formal, professionally structured Guidelines to assist them in their role. FIPO produced these Guidelines with input from the GMC, the MDU, the MPS, various hospital providers and the Healthcare Commission. These may have to be revised in 2010 when new regulations concerning Responsible Officers and Revalidation come in to force.
These MAC guidelines were originally circulated to all MAC Chairmen and a hard back copy is available at a price of £10 each. Please send a cheque payable to "FIPO" stating the number of copies required to FIPO, 14 Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9AA
To see the contents and to download the Guidelines please follow this link...