Our qualified lawyers are experienced in representing doctors against the GMC in MPTS fitness to practise panel hearings. We have an excellent track record and ensure that all GMC fitness to practise panel hearings are thoroughly prepared, ensuring that robust defences are advanced. Where necessary we present compelling mitigation for doctors.
When the GMC has referred a doctor to the MPTS for a fitness to practise panel hearing, the panel will hear evidence from both sides, before embarking on a 3 stage process, as set out below.
Three stage process in a GMC fitness to practise hearing before the MPTS
- Fact finding – The MPTS fitness to practise panel will hear evidence and decide whether the allegations have been proven. If the allegations are proven, they will move to the second stage.
- Impairment – The panel will consider if the doctor’s fitness to practise is impaired. Essentially, this involves deciding whether action needs to be taken against the doctor’s registration. If the Panel decides that the doctor’s fitness to practise is impaired, they will move to the third stage.
- Sanctions – The MPTS fitness to practise panel will refer to the GMC’s Indicative Sanction Guidance, which provides guidance to the panel about appropriate sanctions, although the panel still retains a wide discretion.
Available sanctions for the panel
In GMC fitness to practise hearings before the MPTS a panel has the following sanctions available:
• In exceptional circumstances the panel may consider it is appropriate to take no further action;
• The panel may impose conditions on a doctor’s registration, for up to three years;
• The panel may suspend the doctor’s name from the Medical Register for up to 12 months;
• The panel may seek to agree undertakings with the doctor;
• In the most serious of cases, the Panel may erase the doctor’s name from the Medical Register.
For more information on possible outcomes, read our full guide to MPTS sanctions.