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GMC puts back switch to civil standard of proof

By Steve Nowottny

GPs facing fitness to practise hearings will be judged on the ‘balance of probabilities' from the end of next month.

The GMC confirmed this week that the switch from the criminal to the civil standard of proof, which had been expected this month, will now take place on 31 May. Panellists and staff have been trained on the application of the new rule, and although subject to a formal decision by the Privy Council – the law lords sitting as a final court of appeal for GMC decisions – the switch now seems certain to go ahead.

The move comes despite a three month consultation at the end of last year receiving an overwhelmingly negative response from GPs to the proposed changes. In December, the GMC admitted ‘almost without exception, responses from individual members of the profession argued against the introduction of the civil standard of proof in our fitness to practise procedures.'

But a spokesperson this week insisted feedback on the changes had been taken on board.

‘As part of our consultation we held workshops across the UK to get feedback from all of our key interest groups,' she said. ‘We have now taken into account all responses to the consultation.'

GMC: put back switch to civil standard of proof GMC: put back switch to civil standard of proof

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