All GPs and Specialists in the U.K. are required to register with the General Medical Council and adhere to the published rules in the GMC Good Medical Practice. Breaching these professional rules of conduct may lead to complaints by patients and an investigation by the GMC and a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service Panel FTP hearing. If the MPTS Panel finds that your fitness to practise is impaired, it could have devastating consequences for you and your professional career. If you have been accused of medical misconduct you should contact a solicitor to guide you through the complicated GMC complaints process and prepare an effective defence on your behalf. You certainly shouldn't consider preparing your own courtroom defence
The GMC Complaints Procedure
All complaints from patients are directed to the General Medical Council for investigation. Complaints can be upheld on the grounds of misconduct, recent criminal conviction, health issues, or an inability to speak fluent English. You will be notified of the complaint and issued with a Rule 4 letter stating the full terms of the allegations against you. It is important to have proper legal representation right from the outset to ensure that your rights are not prejudiced and that the entire procedure is handled with the utmost professionalism and accuracy.
A full investigation will be conducted by the GMC to accrue evidence regarding the allegations made. At the conclusion of these investigations, a Rule 7 letter will be sent to you with full details of the complaint and the evidence against you. You will be given 28 days from the date of this letter to submit a substantive response which will be taken into consideration at the FTP hearing. This is where a dedicated team of solicitors experienced in medical law and the defence of doctors and specialists who have face patient complaints can guide you in preparing the best response.
Before the Fitness to Practise hearing your solicitor will help you build an accurate chronology of events in strict confidence in order to prepare an accurate defence on your behalf. If the MTPS Panel finds you guilty of the allegations during the Fitness to Practise hearing, it may result in conditions being imposed on your GMC registration, suspension from the registration, or removal from the Medial Council Register.
A professional discipline solicitor will negotiate terms on your behalf and aim to reach a settlement to ensure the least amount of damage to you and your career. If you are involved in a GMC complaint procedure, you will need the help of a team of solicitors to give you expert legal advice and representation from the initial complaint to the final hearing and outcome.