BMA firearms guidance
Date sent: Wednesday 16 November 2016
To ALL BBOLMC Practices
|Issue date: 17.11.16|
Last week the BMA firearms guidance was taken down from its website and subsequently replaced with wording that has proved controversial
"GPs must engage in the process of firearms licensing when requested to do so. Failure to do so could place them at professional risk.
In terms of their contractual obligations, GPs must cooperate with and facilitate statutory functions relating to the process.
The contract also sets out that a reasonable fee may be demanded for the services provided as part of that process.
The demand for a reasonable fee may form a condition, which if not fulfilled, means the GP can refuse to engage further in the firearms certification process.
A GP may have a genuine conscientious objection, in which case and subject to GMC guidance they should refer the patient appropriately"
The regulation on demanding a fee can be found at
1) That the GP must engage with the process and must reply to the police.
2) The advice around conscientious objection and appropriate referral is simply a restatement of the GMC position, and will be the subject of further work to clarify the position for single-handed GPs and those situations where all GPs within a practice hold a conscientious objection.
3) GPC will now work on a clear FAQs sheet to explain in simple terms the practical advice that doctors should follow when they receive a firearms communication from the police.
Dr Paul Roblin
Tel: 07799116597 or 01628 475727