A senior Scottish doctor has entered the row over medical regulation by claiming it is not the General Medical Council that is failing the public, but managers.

Dr Brian Keighley, elected GMC member for Scotland and a former senior figure in the British Medical Association, said in a letter to the Sunday Times: 'The government is frustrated by the time it takes the GMC to undertake due process in order to erase a doctor from the register but ignores the failings of its own NHS managers to report deficiencies.

'The public looks for an organ to blame when the unacceptable occurs without regard to the full circumstances, and is inappropriately sceptical of the GMC's avowed aim to protect patients.'

He said some in the profession felt the GMC was doing too much to align itself with patients' interests, adding: 'The GMC is changing its structure and function as fast as its statutory rules allow.'