GMC Professional Discipline Representation, London

Practising medical doctors must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) and abide by its standards of professional behaviour.

If a complaint is made about a doctor’s conduct, the GMC will investigate the incident to establish whether the practitioner has breached the professional standards expected of them.

Complaints against doctors can have a huge impact on their reputations and careers. If you’re been notified by the GMC that you’re under investigation for professional misconduct, a strong, well-prepared defence case will give you the best chance of protecting your professional standing. That’s why it’s important to seek expert legal representation without delay.

Here at Saunders Law, our solicitors routinely provide specialist advice and representation to medical professionals facing GMC discipline procedures. Our robust approach in every case has earned us an excellent reputation in protecting our clients’ rights, and their reputations and roles within the medical profession.

When will the GMC investigate?

Complaints are made to the GMC from various individuals and bodies, including patients, colleagues, employers and the police. The GMC reviews all complaints received, and those which raise concerns about a doctor’s fitness to practise will be taken further.

A practitioner’s fitness to practise can be impaired due to:

  • professional misconduct;
  • a serious health problem;
  • lack of knowledge or skills; or
  • criminal behaviour.

When a doctor’s fitness to practise is found to be impaired, the GMC has the power to impose the following sanctions:

  • add conditions to the doctor’s registration;
  • suspend the doctor’s registration; or
  • remove the doctor completely from the register.

How does the GMC investigate?

When the GMC decides to investigate, the doctor is notified and given details of the complaint against them. The doctor is also invited to comment on the incident at this stage. While it’s not compulsory to comment, we recommended it as it shows willingness to cooperate, which could influence the outcome of the investigation and help to close the matter more quickly.

The GMC will gather evidence from the complainer, any witnesses, the employer and any other key parties. The Council may also send a representative to assess the doctor’s performance or health.

If at any point in the investigation the GMC believes there’s a potential risk to the public, it may initiate an interim order tribunal hearing – which has the power to restrict or suspend a doctor’s work while the investigation is ongoing.

At the end of its investigation, the GMC will:

  • take no further action;
  • issue a warning;
  • set out actions to be taken; or
  • pass the matter to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) for a fitness to practise hearing.

Fitness to practise hearings

An MPTS fitness to practise hearing will examine the facts of the case, determine whether there is impairment and deliver a sanction if necessary. In some cases, a well prepared case with strong evidence can have an impact on the outcome of the hearing. That’s why you should seek expert legal advice representation as soon as possible, so you and your legal team can start preparing a quality defence strategy straight away.

How can Saunders Law help?

Our team of professional discipline solicitors have helped many clients protect their reputations in the face of GMC investigations and MPTS fitness to practise hearings. Our thorough approach involves collecting a powerful body of evidence for your case – including witness statements and character references – presenting the key legal challenges to the allegations and identifying any mitigating factors.

We can help at all stages of the GMC’s discipline proceedings, from drafting a sound response to the GMC after you’ve been notified of a complaint to advising on the suitability of the outcome to the investigation. If your case involves an interim order hearing or progresses to an MPTS hearing, our solicitors will provide expert representation.

No two cases are the same, so we’ll provide specialist advice for your circumstances. For example, if a mistake has been made, we may recommend you concentrate on demonstrating insight into the incident. Where a doctor acknowledges responsibility, and can show they’ve learnt from the incident, this can sometimes help to lessen the sanction.

Saunders Law – GMC Professional Discipline Defence Lawyers in London

We understand there’s a lot at stake for doctors facing professional disciplinary proceedings. That’s why we work tirelessly to protect your rights, and minimise the impact on your professional and personal lives. Get in touch today for a free, no obligation discussion with our approachable team.

Call us on 020 3811 3123 or make an enquiry online.

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