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GP defence body calls for GMC to lose right to appeal fitness-to-practise rulings

The Medical Protection Society (MPS) has called for an ‘urgent review’ of the GMC’s right to appeal decisions made by its own tribunal.

This follows Pulse's revelation that seven doctors have been struck off after GMC appealed Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service rulings since the first appeal case was heard in the High Court last May.

In its evidence to the Government’s review of gross negligence manslaughter charges against doctors, the MPS said it has ‘long been concerned’ about the GMC and the Professional Standards Authority ‘having the same right of appeal against an MPTS determination’.

The MPS report said by both regulators having this power, there is added ‘complexity and increasing costs to proceedings’ and it ‘prolongs the uncertainty for the doctor at the centre of the case’.

It said: ‘The GMC should lose its power to appeal MPTS decisions during any forthcoming programme of regulatory reform.’

It added that there is ‘an even greater sense of urgency to review this power’ in light of the Dr Bawa-Garba case, which saw the junior doctor struck off the medical register by the GMC, following a controversial High Court ruling.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt called for a ‘rapid review’ of the application of gross negligence manslaughter charges in medicine in February following the Dr Bawa-Garba case, which is scheduled to report back next month.

The MPS’s evidence to the review also said that there is ‘justifiable concern’ around the GMC’s proposal to automatically strike off doctors that have been charged with ‘serious crimes’.

However, the MPS highlighted that the judicial system serves ‘a different purpose to the MPTS’.

It said: ‘The MPTS’s role is to assess the doctor’s fitness to practise and if needed issue a sanction in order to protect the public and/or the reputation of the profession. 

‘We believe the MPTS rather than the court is best placed to make decision about a doctor’s fitness to practise.’

It comes as the GMC announced its review into gross negligence manslaughter charges against doctors - also coming in light of the Bawa-Garba case - will look at why there are fewer cases involving healthcare organisations compared with individuals.

The GMC gained the right to appeal MPTS decisions at the end of 2015, but the first case was only heard last May as the High Court wanted it heard by senior judges. Since then, the GMC has launched 23 appeals in total, although not all were in relation to having a doctor struck off.

 

Readers' comments (8)

  • UtterFool

    Disband the GMC - Government Medical Control

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  • Max DIGITAL DOC Headroom

    It comes as the GMC announced its review into gross negligence manslaughter charges against doctors - also coming in light of the Bawa-Garba case - will look at why there are fewer cases involving healthcare organisations compared with individuals.



    Could we find out if the GMC has ever held
    ANY
    organisation to account at all ??
    Rather than scapegoating vulnerable individuals

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  • Max DIGITAL DOC Headroom

    Health secretary Jeremy Hunt called for a ‘rapid review’ of the application of gross negligence manslaughter charges in medicine in February following the Dr Bawa-Garba case, which is scheduled to report back next month.

    Who has the final say on any review or recommendations
    is it Jeremy Hunt??
    Theresa May??
    or does it have to go up to be discussed in parliament??

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  • Max DIGITAL DOC Headroom

    Good on you MPS .. What do the other defence organisations think?
    MDU etc

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  • Max DIGITAL DOC Headroom

    Ex GP: Disband the GMC - Government Medical Control

    They do not control us
    They only have Governmental backing to extort a subscription from us

    In return we can expect to be scapegoated
    and treated as guilty until proven innocent
    and used as public sacrifices to appease any public need for someone to be held to account

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  • Max DIGITAL DOC Headroom

    Dear Editor
    The annoying thing is that any substantial communication by the GMC Occurs on GP Website

    As this uses "Discuss" with no anonymity there will never be any responses
    (Exactly what they prefer)

    Could key responses be covered on pulse as well so we can give them some true feedback

    https://www.gponline.com/gmc-announces-terms-reference-gross-negligence-manslaughter-review/article/1459733

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  • Max DIGITAL DOC Headroom

    https://www.gponline.com/failure-document-reflection-could-increase-risk-gmc-referral/article/1459527

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  • Max DIGITAL DOC Headroom

    Wheres is everyone else today?

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