Published: 06/12/2001, Volume III, No. 5784 Page 8

The Memorandum of Understanding , outlining the National Clinical Assessment Authority's relationship with other NHS regulatory bodies, has been published. The document, drawn up with the General Medical Council and the Commission for Health Improvement, focuses on sharing information and the protocol for making referrals for investigation to the other bodies. It admits that there can be no systematic demarcation between the work of the NCAA and CHI, saying: 'Each case will be dealt with on its merits. 'But it says both bodies will consider shadow working and opportunities for secondment.

There is also a pledge to share staff and experience with the GMC, with the council's assessors being recruited by the NCAA to carry out its own assessment work. Where assessments are carried out by the NCAA which raise serious concerns about a doctor, 'the NCAA should immediately contact the GMC and other appropriate authorities'.