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New fitness to practise committee members appointed

9 April 2021

The General Osteopathic Council has appointed four new members to its fitness to practise committees, effective from 1 April 2021.

The new members, who have all been appointed for four years until 31 March 2025, will play a key role as part of either the Investigating Committee or Professional Conduct Committee.

Investigating Committee

Helena Suffield-Thompson has been appointed as a lay member and a Panel Chair of the Investigating Committee.

Helena is a fee paid Immigration and Asylum judge for the First Tier Social Entitlement Chamber and for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Chamber. Helena was a criminal defence lawyer for the majority of her career and has previously worked as an independent lay member for the Health and Care Professions Council and for the Parole Board.

Professional Conduct Committee

Three appointments have been made to the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC):

  • Andrew Harvey as the lay Chair and a Panel Chair
  • Rasila Jassal as a lay member and a Panel Chair
  • Melissa D’Mello as a lay member

Andrew Harvey’s non-executive roles currently include being a lay member of the Costs Lawyers Standards Board; being Deputy Chair, Investigating Committee for the General Pharmaceutical Council; and as Chair of the Fitness to Practise Committee at the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Andrew is a non-executive director (and Chair of the Audit Committee) at Registers of Scotland and has previously held the position of Non-Executive Director and Chair, HR and Remuneration Committee for the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Rasila Jassal is employed by the Government Legal Department and has advised the Department of Health and Social Care on a range of issues, including social care, NHS secondary care and EU and International matters. She has led the mental health and mental capacity team, working on the review of the Mental Health Act 1983 and the deprivation of liberty safeguards. Rasila has also worked in the Wales Office, advising Whitehall Departments on devolution issues.

Melissa D’Mello holds a number of non-executive roles as lay member of the professional conduct and health committees for regulators in the health, social care and financial services sectors. She holds the position of Chair, Fitness to Practise Committee at the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Until recently, Melissa also held lay member positions on the Cardiothoracic Advisory Group (on organ donation and transplantation) and the Retrieval Advisory Group. Melissa has extensive experience spanning the commercial, public and not-for-profit sectors and has worked in the UK and overseas.

GOsC’s Chief Executive and Registrar, Matthew Redford, said: ‘We are delighted with the addition of Helena, Andrew, Rasila and Melissa to our fitness to practise committees. We are pleased with the range of skills and wealth of experience they will bring to their positions and look forward to working alongside them. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the outgoing fitness to practise members Richard, Philip and Jacqui, who have made an invaluable contribution to the work of the GOsC’.

These appointments come at the end of a recruitment process which saw the GOsC receive the highest ever number of applications for any previous governance recruitment from a greater overall diversity of applicants.

The GOsC would like to thank the following committee members for their dedicated service as they reached the end of their tenures on 31 March 2021:

  • Richard Davies – PCC Chair
  • Philip Geering – Health Committee Chair and member of the PCC
  • Jacqui Telfer – lay member of the Investigating Committee