We handle cases where doctors are being investigated by their regulatory body, the General Medical Council (GMC)
The Regulatory Process
The disciplinary process that has been adopted by the GMC is as follows:-
- Investigation - the doctor will be given an opportunity to make submissions at the outset. The GMC will also look to obtain evidence from the doctors employer, from expert witnesses on medical issues, and from assessments of the doctors performance. An interim order may also be sought from the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) for a suspension or restriction from practice whilst the investigation is carried out. At the end of the investigation, the case examiners (or the investigation committee where case examiners disagree over what to do) may either take no further action, or issue a warning, or agree undertakings with the doctor to address the issue (e.g. restrictions on the doctors practice, or a commitment to practise under medical supervision, or retraining), or refer the case to the MPTS for a hearing.
- Hearing - heard by a MPTS Fitness to Practice panel consisting of both medical and lay members. The doctor can make full representations in their defence, produce evidence, and call witnesses.
- Decision and sanctions - should the MPTS determine that the doctors fitness to practice is impaired, then they will have the option of issuing a warning, in which for 5 years after it has been issued, the GMC will disclose it to employers/enquirees. Another option is for the MPTS to impose conditions on the doctors registration which only allows the doctor to conduct medical work under supervision or which restricts them to working in certain areas of practice. The MPTS also has the option of suspending the doctor from the medical register which prevents them from practising during the periiod of suspension. In the worst case scenario, the MPTS can remove the doctor from the medical register, thereby barring them from working as a doctor in the UK for at least five years, and potentially permanently.
- Appeal - the doctor can appeal against any sanction imposed within 28 days to the High Court.
Internal Disciplinary Proceedings
We also assist and represent doctors where they are the subject of internal disciplinary proceedings by their employer
What To Do If Regulatory Proceedings Are Commenced Against You
Should internal disciplinary proceedings or GMC regulatory proceedings be commenced against you, then please either telephone us on 0333 301 0700, or complete the questionnaire on the top right hand side of this page.