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GMC v Dr PU

This was an Investigation Committee Hearing where the doctor had elected to have his case considered after declining the invitation to accept a warning from the Case Examiners.

29 April 2009

In a letter dated 8 December 2008 the GMC advised the doctor that the Case Examiners were minded to issue you with the following warning;
“On 26 March 2008 you were convicted of driving with excess alcohol.

This conduct does not meet with 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, paragraph 57 of Good Medical Practice is 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.’

The doctors legal team wrote to the GMC stating that he deeply regretted his actions on 19 September 2007 when the offence occurred. It was described an isolated incident which would not be repeated; the doctor had co-operated fully with the GMC, was of good character without previous reference to the GMC with no issues relating to his professional practice.

The Committee noted that Dr PU informed the GMC of his conviction at the earliest opportunity and co-operated fully with the GMC investigation. The Committee considered that examples of convictions and cautions that have resulted in a warning include one-off drink driving offences where there are no underlying health concerns. However they stressed each case must be considered on its own merits.

They further stated:

“This was an isolated incident and there are no concerns about your clinical ability. Indeed your work supervisor has reported that “you are one of the best staff grades she has had working for her for a very long time”. The Committee also noted your previous good character and expression of regret and that you have decided not to drink alcohol if you are going to drive. You also successfully completed a drink driving awareness course and are now permitted to drive. The Committee considers that you show insight into your actions.”

The Committee determined that the conviction was lower on the scale, rather than just below the threshold for a finding of impaired fitness to practise. It was deemed disproportionate to issue a warning. The Committee determined to conclude the case with no further action.

Find out more about GMC investigations.