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A faulty production line

GMC ordered to pay legal fees for former GP trainee accused of patient assault

A doctor is able to go back to medical practise after what he described as 'a nightmare four-year battle'.

Solicitor Mark Tunstill from law firm Scott-Moncrieff and Associates, who represented Dr Abiodun Bale, said the GMC has been ordered to pay legal fees after a High Court ruling.

Dr Bale had been accused of two counts of assault on patients while training to be a GP at the Hyndburn Medical Practice in Accrington. He was convicted on charges for one of the two alleged assaults, but the conviction was quashed in the Crown Court.

Despite this, it took the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal a further two years to consider his fitness to practise following an application from the GMC, his lawyers said.

‘In 2016 the Tribunal ruled that Dr Bale’s fitness to practise had been impaired and suspended Dr Bale for nine months with immediate effect.

‘The allegations were some of the most serious accusations which could be made against a doctor,' said Mr Tunstill.

He added that the High Court allowed Dr Bale's appeal 'despite stiff opposition from the GMC'.

He said: ‘This has dragged on because it took the GMC two years to bring the matter to hearing before the Medical Practitioners' Tribunal which suspended him.

‘Now the High Court has granted his appeal, his suspension is lifted and, finally, Dr Bale can return to work.’

The GMC has now been ordered by Mr Justice Collins in the High Court to pay Dr Bale’s legal costs, he said.

Dr Bale, who now intends to practise as an obstetrician, said: 'My income source was taken away, yet I had to find the money to employ the services of lawyers for my appeal.’

The GMC said it had not yet received the ruling and would not be in a position to comment until it ‘understood the judgement fully.’

Readers' comments (9)

  • Will the GMC be covering cost of loss of earnings as well as legal costs?

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  • Will the GMC even begin to comprehend the basics of 'Good Practice' in any discipline? Like all others in society medics need and are entitled to a reputable and trustworthy tribunal system.

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  • There is a fundamental problem with the system in that doctors pretty much have no other option but to go to the high court to challenge the regulators. These are David vs Goliath fights and so likely to result in injustice by design. This is wrong. We need reform.

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  • Oh, the GMC pays.... who er pays the GMC???? Us, we pay for the incompetence of the GMC - what we need are resignations and scalps from those in the GMC involved.....

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  • Sue the GMC for damages under tort law please.

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  • Council of Despair

    I fully support the doctor involved but we must have accountability - those in the GMC who are involved should be held to account as we are the ones who will have to pay as we have no choice to pay the GMC fees.

    The GMC acts as judge, jury and exceutioner - those in the involved in the GMC should be named and shamed - c'mon Pulse - dig deeper.

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  • Great result for the doctor and hope he/she gets full apology from the GMC with just compensation.

    How do we make sure those accountable in GMC is made to be responsible? The bill for the payout should be footed by the government and not us, can pulse ask on FoI when the money is paid out how it was resourced?

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  • Poor doctor, what a nightmare, there but for the grace of God etc...this is becoming an impossible job!

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  • All of us paying GMC to torture our colleagues and drag them thru the courts. What a disgraceful state we find ourselves in.

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