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Lords veto civil role on fitness to practise

The House of Lords has rejected a last-ditch attempt to prevent introduction of a civil standard of proof for fitness to practise cases, prompting disappointment from medical defence bodies.

During debate on the Health and Social Care Bill, peers rejected an amendment that would have preserved the criminal standard for doctors' hearings.

Dr Stephanie Bown, director of communications at the Medical Protection Society, insisted the debate had still been useful in supporting future appeals, if, as feared, the civil standard of proof ‘does indeed lead to miscarriages of justice'.

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