Solicitors who sent ‘aggressively threatening’ letters to GPs concerning Covid vaccine exemptions have been referred to a disciplinary tribunal.
The medicolegal committee at the BMA has since then raised concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) about the behaviour of some solicitors who had sent letters to GPs that were ‘aggressively threatening’.
In an update, the committee said: ‘These letters took an approach that we feel was a clear breach of professional standards. GPs who received these letters will have felt very distressed.
‘The SRA had been helpful in stating that “the standards of behaviour we expect from solicitors include not writing in offensive, threatening or intimidatory ways. And we also do not expect solicitors to pursue matters which they know have no legal merit.”’
Now the SRA has concluded their investigation in one of these cases and made a decision to refer the BMA’s concerns to the independent Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).
Pulse understands that the SRA’s legal team is preparing proceedings and lodging the allegations at the SDT.
The disciplinary tribunal will then make a decision about whether there is a case to answer.
Last year, the Government said it expected GPs and specialists to ‘clinically review’ each and every application for Covid vaccination exemptions.
The service helped identify individuals who were unable to be vaccinated and/or tested for Covid for medical reasons and provided a means of proving their exemption through the NHS Covid Pass.
However, it said that patients should not contact their GP to obtain the application form or their GP or the clinician reviewing their exemption unless asked to do so.
Last year, Pulse revealed that GPs had also been threatened with legal action by patients who objected to being asked to wear a face covering in their practice.
Meanwhile, the start of this year’s autumn Covid vaccination programme in England has been brought forward due to concerns over a new variant, and GPs will receive additional payments for each dose delivered.