What is the Invited Review Mechanism (IRM) for Doctors?

Invited Review Mechanism Case LawInvited Review Mechanism (IRM) Law for Doctors

The Invited Review Mechanism (IRM) is conducted by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS). Such a review can only be initiated at the request of an employer. It cannot be initiated by a doctor who is a cause for concern. It is a contractual arrangement and has been available since 1988. The RCS sets out the requirements for being engaged to undertake an IRM. The RCS can cover service reviews, individual reviews, and clinical record reviews. In particular, the Invited Review Handbook is essential reading. The review is considered to be independent. A doctor who is to be the subject of an individual review must consent in writing to the process and agree to participate. The reviewers will undertake interviews and review paperwork before compiling a report. The report will include recommendations. The report does not replace an employer’s disciplinary processes.

IRM Case Law

Is an IRM Report Amenable to Judicial Review?

Taggart v The Royal College of Surgeons of England & Anor [2022] EWHC 1141 (Admin) (May 2022) – an application for judicial review of a report provided by the defendant about Dr Taggart, who sought an amendment to the IRM report. The High Court held that the IRM report was not amenable to judicial review, applying the principles set out in BeerHampshire County Council v Graham Beer (t/a Hammer Trout Farm) [2003] EWCA Civ 1056.

If you are a doctor facing an investigation by an employer which has an Invited Review Mechanism  (IRM) process to it, contact Doctors Defence Service for advice. Use our contact form or call us on 0800 10 88 739