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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.’