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Fitness to Practise Committee Hearing of the 9 July 2010

Dr BTS received a warning on his registration after accepting a caution for battery following an argument with his wife after which it is alleged he pushed and hit her.

The GMC received notice of the police caution from the head of clinical services at the registrant’s place of work, following a CRB check.

A verbal altercation had taken place between the registrant and his wife; which escalated and it was alleged that he had hit and pushed his wife. She telephoned the police and made a statement to them confirming that she had been assaulted.

Under rule 7 of the GMC (Fitness to Practise) Rules 2004 the GMC wrote to the Registrant and advised him that the Case Examiners had considered the allegations and decided that this was a case which they may be minded to conclude with a warning.

The Registrant informed the GMC that he had complained to the Police regarding the circumstances surrounding the caution so the GMC waited for further information from the Police. The Police informed the GMC that the circumstances surrounding the caution had been reviewed and it was deemed that the caution had been administered correctly. The Registrant was given the choice by the GMC as to whether he accepted the warning or wished to exercise his right to a hearing; he chose to have a hearing.

During the hearing the registrant submitted that he did not wish his personal life to impact on his professional reputation which he had built up through 22 years of service in the NHS. He said that he had accepted the caution to expedite the process and was unaware of the impact it would have on his professional life. He stated that the arresting officer had said that there would be no professional consequences for him when he found out that the caution had been reported to his employers he phoned the police and was told that they would also inform the GMC.

The committee consider the Victim Personal Statement made by the registrant’s wife. They also acknowledged that he claimed to have been provoked over a period of time but this did not detract from the fact that he admitted the offence and accepted the caution. The GMC noted that the registrant had legal advice throughout the interview and the administration of the caution, which he then signed.

The Committee said:

‘On 11 February 2007 you accepted a Police caution for common assault. You did not inform the GMC of this without delay.

This conduct does not meet the standards required of a doctor. It risks bringing the profession into disrepute and it must not be repeated. The required standards are set out in Good Medical Practice and associated guidance. In this case, paragraphs 57 and 58 of Good Medical Practice are particularly relevant: “You must make sure that your conduct at all times justifies your patients’ trust in you and the public’s trust in the profession”, and, “You must inform the GMC without delay if, anywhere in the world, you have accepted a caution, been charged with or found guilty of a criminal offence, or if another professional body has made a finding against your registration as a result of fitness to practise procedures.”

Find out more about the GMC’s process for dealing with criminal proceedings.