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Doctors’ association to gather views on climate change GP suspension

Doctors’ association to gather views on climate change GP suspension

The Doctors’ Association (DAUK) has launched a survey to gather views on the suspension of a GP who attended climate change protests.

Last week, a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) panel suspended Birmingham GP Dr Sarah Benn’s registration for five months due to multiple breaches of a court order, as she breached a court injunction by attending Just Stop Oil protests at a Warwickshire oil terminal in 2022.

The decision sparked discussions among the profession with some doctors criticising the verdict, and earlier this week the BMA wrote to the GMC expressing ‘serious concerns’ about the suspension.

Now the DAUK has asked doctors and the general public to share their views as part of a survey, which asks whether Dr Benn’s actions ‘undermine the trust the public has in doctors’ and whether the public agrees with the MPTS that Dr Benn’s fitness to practise as a doctor is impaired.

The association said: ‘We at DAUK understand that Dr Benn broke the law, when she stood peacefully holding a small placard.

‘We also understand that patients must be able to trust doctors with their lives and health; doctors must make sure their conduct justifies their patients’ trust in them and the public’s trust in the profession.

‘But we want to know what you think. Crucially, not all doctors subject to a custodial sentence having broken the law have been sanctioned by the MPTS as the MPTS can use its discretion.

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‘Did Dr Benn put patients at risk with her placard? Did Dr Benn bring the medical profession into disrepute? Did she put the trust of the public in their doctors at risk? Please answer our short survey and tell us your views.’

DAUK’s sustainability lead Dr Matthew Lee said: ‘The DAUK are concerned about the MPTS ruling on Dr Sarah Benn, but we want to know what you, the general public think. Whether you are medical or not, please complete this survey.’

The GMC previously stressed that Dr Benn was referred to the MPTS for multiple breaches of a court order, rather than for protesting about climate change.

Last week, GPs expressed concerns around a conflict of interest for the BMA’s GP Committee for England following Dr Benn’s suspension.

Writing for Pulse last week, Dr Benn said her suspension won’t stop her blowing the whistle on climate change.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Just My Opinion 1 May, 2024 8:47 pm

This is insane. This story has been so twisted. The suspension has nothing to do with peaceful protest. It is for multiple breaches of a court order, such that she was imprisoned. Are we saying a convicted criminal should face no sanction whatsoever from the professional regulator? Simply because we do not agree with the conviction?