A lawyer is a professional whose main duty is to advise and represent others in legal matters. This is due to the fact that the individual is well-versed in matters concerning the law, courtesy of many years in law school.
The professional is governed by various guidelines and principles that they are required to adhere to, an important one being confidentiality. This is one of the major virtues that must be upheld by any professional who practises as a lawyer.
Just as any profession has various specialisations, so does law, and this brings us to GMC defence solicitors who specifically deal with representing medical practitioners before health care regulators. A significant number are located in London, at firms such as Blackfords LLP. One of the health care regulators that defence solicitors defend registrants against is the general medical council (GMC).
A medical practitioner can be accused of a medical offence that can lead to the practitioner losing their job, hence this is where the GMC defense solicitors come in and defend the registrant.
A registrant is a doctor who is accused. As mentioned earlier, any lawyer needs to be confidential in regards to matters that are discussed with his or her client, and this is one example of a medical offence that could prove disastrous for the accused doctor. The General Medical Council and General Dental Council are two separate regulators for their respective fields. Today lets look at the lawyers (defence solicitors) charged with the responsibility of representing the accused doctors. The procedure involved is as follows.
First, the accused doctor may face an internal disciplinary assessment by the employer, who might suggest that that the accused performed a crime. Examples would include sexually assaulting a patient, sneaking out drugs from the hospital or any misconduct set by the regulatory body. The process will continue from the initial notification, to the fitness to practice, to appeals against decisions until a hearing is set.
This process is very stressful to the medical practitioners, and a lawyer is absolutely required as representing yourself in court is a terrible idea. Experience is key here because in law, just as in any profession, experience really matters. Having an experienced defence solicitor who has battled it out in court against the regulatory body (GMC) is to your advantage because the lawyer is familiar with the procedure.
In regards to the cases involved they vary from one which is complicated to one that is piece of cake. All in all a defense solicitor is charged with the responsibility of advising the registrant on matters involving the case probably due to a misconduct set out by the GMC. To read more about GMC defence solicitors, see this page.
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