Specialist General Medical Council (GMC) Lawyers
Olliers Solicitors provide professional assistance to those facing proceedings before the GMC.
All doctors must be registered with the GMC to practice in the UK. The GMC is also the organisation who have the power to remove or put conditions on a doctor’s registration.
With offices in Manchester and London, we are able to provide expert representation for healthcare professionals throughout the course of their dealings with the GMC, advising at all stages of the disciplinary proceedings, from initial referral to the Interim Order Tribunal to, if necessary, full Fitness to Practice hearings before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).
As professionals, we understand the anxiety that a potential appearance before a disciplinary committee can cause in terms of the potential loss of, or a restriction upon, one’s ability to practice. At all stages of the investigation we will make appropriate representations on your behalf with a view to allowing your practice to continue unhindered.
We have a developed a practice robustly defending professionals due to appear before the GMC, whether arising from criminal allegations or not and have earned a reputation for meticulous preparation, sound advice and excellent results.
What type of GMC matters can Olliers assist with?
We are also able to assist with the following:
- Assisting Doctors with notifications to the GMC
- Providing expert advice during the course of GMC investigations
- Advising on disclosure requests by the GMC
- Attendance at GMC meetings
- Preparation of responses to Rule 7 letters
- Advising in relation to warnings and undertakings
- Representation at Interim Orders Tribunal hearings before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS)
- Advising on GMC applications to the High Court to extend interim orders
- Representation at fitness to practise hearings before the MPTS
- Appeals to the High Court against decisions of the MPTS
- Applications for restoration to the Medical Register following erasure
Interim Orders Tribunal (IOT)
If the GMC decide that restrictions should be placed on a doctor’s practice, they will refer the case to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service whilst the GMC investigate a doctor.
Once a case is referred, the MPTS will hold an Interim orders tribunal (IOT’s). MPTS hold IOT’s to determine if restrictions should be placed on a doctors practice whilst they are under investigation.
The MPTS ought to only impose restrictions on a doctors practice to:
- Protect members of the public or;
- If it is in the doctor’s interest.
IOT hearings are held in private (although a doctor can request for it to be public).
The members of the IOT will make the decision regarding whether restrictions should be placed on the doctor’s practice
The IOT consists of three tribunal members who hear each hearing. The IOT must have at least one medical member and one non-medical member.A legally qualified chair will often also be part of the tribunal and will be there to advise on legal points.
Powers of the IOT
The IOT can suspend or impose conditions on a doctor’s practice for up to 18 months.
An IOT can impose the following orders:
- No order
- Interim conditions
- Interim suspensions
If an IOT has made an order of interim suspension or interim conditions, reviews must be conducted every six months.
Fitness to Practice before the MPTS
At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), the General Medical Council will present evidence and the doctor will also be able to give evidence. The tribunal will then determine if the facts of the allegation have been proven. If allegations are admitted or found proven, the tribunal will then determine whether or not the doctor’s fitness to practice is impaired. If they find the doctor’s fitness to practice is not currently impaired, then they can choose to either take no further action or issue a warning.
If the doctor’s fitness to practice has been found to be impaired, they will then go on to consider sanctions.
If the MPTS concludes that a doctor’s fitness to practice has been impaired, they will then go on to consider sanctions such as:
- Accepting undertakings agreed between the doctor and the GMC;
- Imposing conditions on the doctor’s registration;
- Suspension of the doctor’s registration;
- Erasure of the doctor from the medical register.
Our expertise in this area is wide-ranging and we regularly deal with the full range of fitness to practise issues, including:
- Clinical incidents
- Surgical, prescribing, and diagnostic errors
- Poor performance in professional capacity
- Criminal convictions/allegations
- Decision by regulatory body within or outside of the UK
- Alleged lack of competent knowledge of the English language to safely practice.
- Dishonesty allegations
- Misuse of drug or alcohol
- Breaches of conditions
- Fitness to practice based on a doctor’s physical or mental health
- Breaches of interim conditions of practice
A doctor could be asked to respond to a complaint, or have been summoned to a hearing before the (MPTS). Our GMC defence lawyers can help relieve the stress and advise you through this process. Olliers work with the country’s leading barristers to ensure you receive the very best in terms of representation and advocacy throughout your case and at any hearing before the GMC. We understand the importance of the allocation of appropriate Counsel at the earliest opportunity, ensuring that your case is properly considered and dealt with throughout by an expert with specific experience of your particular difficulty.
Olliers are able to be engaged on either an hourly rate basis or we can also offer an ‘agreed fee’ service to provide peace of mind that costs will not escalate beyond what was agreed. We would be happy to provide a bespoke quotation for your individual case.
Need a Specialist GMC Solicitor?
Should you require assistance with any matter before the GMC contact professional disciplinary lawyer, Ruth Peters, for an initial confidential consultation.