Don’t let GMC and MPTS Hearings put your career on the line
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service is an adjudication function for UK doctors. They have powers to impose sanctions on a doctor’s practice to protect the public. By making independent decisions about a doctor’s fitness and ability to practice, they protect patients. They measure this against medical standards set by the GMC. Furthermore, the GMC also help to protect patients but they also improve medical education and practice in the UK. They hold the medical register of all doctors. Additionally, setting standards for students and doctors means they can support them in achieving and exceeding them and take action when they’re not met.
The MTPS is accountable to the GMC Council for the delivery of our objectives and will report annually to parliament. They also provide hearings that are fully independent in their decision making and separate from the investigatory role of the GMC.
Important things to consider:
- You can lodge an appeal to the high court within 28 days of the decision made by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service. You may want to appeal against a tribunal decision if it restricts or removes your registration.
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The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) can order interim orders and tribunal hearings. They ensure tribunals provide high-quality decision-making and continuous professional development of all professionals. Additionally, they schedule hearings and provide information to the public and media. Also, they ensure they update the list of Registered Medical Practitioners and notify overseas regulators of the hearing outcomes.
The General Medical Council (GMC) is an independent organisation who help to protect patients. In addition, it helps to improve medical education and practice across the UK. It makes decisions on which doctors can work here and set standards doctors need to follow. Furthermore, it ensures doctors meet these standards throughout their career and prevent doctors from putting the safety of patients or the public’s confidence in doctors at risk.
There are different types of complaints which can be brought against a doctor in relation to their fitness for practising their profession. These tend to result in a hearing. Complaints include;
- Serious professional misconduct
- Seriously deficient performance
- A criminal conviction or caution in the UK
- Adverse physical or mental health
- A determination by a regulatory body either in the UK or overseas
- Surgical errors and serious clinical negligence
- Prescribing and diagnostic errors
- Drug and alcohol dependency
When an investigation begins the GMC will inform you of the complaint in writing. You may have to give details of your employer or contracting body. They conduct an investigation process differently depending on the nature of the complaint but it may include;
- Gathering evidence from the complaint and other parties
- Seeking witness statements from the complaint, patients or other witnesses.
- Seeking comments about your work from your employers/colleagues
- We can assess your health
- Assessing your knowledge of English
- Assessing your performance.
Once the preliminary investigation is complete you will have another opportunity to comment on specific allegations. From this they’ll either decide to progress your case or close it with no further action.
During an MPTS hearing the panel can decide to reprimand you with various sanctions on your ability to practice as a doctor. They can;
- conclude the case with no further action;
- conclude the case with a letter of advice;
- issue a warning;
- refer you to the MPTS for a Fitness to Practice Panel hearing;
- offering voluntary conditions on your registration which must be met;
- place conditions on a doctor’s registration for up to three years which can include restricting your areas of practice, the patients you can see, prohibiting or limiting on-call work or locum wor;
- a suspension of your registration for a maximum period of 12 months;
- suspend the doctor’s name from the medical register.
- Remove the doctor’s name from the medical register and you cannot apply for re-registration for a period of 5 years.
During these hearings our solicitors appreciate how stressful the situation is and how much is at stake. We will represent you to the best of our ability by ensuring we present your case to the panel effectively.
You may face accusations against you for failing to adhere to good medical practice published by the General Medical Council (GMC.) Now you may face a GMC fitness to practice investigation and a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) Fitness to Practice Panel Hearing. This can result in conditions on your GMC registration or a suspension from the medical register. Furthermore, this can lead to devastating consequences on your career. Legal advice and representation is an entitlement for any doctor who has had an allegation made against them in relation to their fitness. Our team at Kidwells stress the importance of seeking this specialist legal advice as soon as possible.