GMC MPTS Review Hearings

Review Hearings in GMC/MPTS Cases

There are two types of review hearing held at the MPTS. The first relates to reviews of interim orders (called Interim Orders Tribunal (IOT) hearings), and the second relates to substantive fitness review sanctions. To read more about IOT reviews, see our dedicated article on GMC/MPTS IOT Proceedings. The remainder of this article examines Reviews in GMC Medical Practitioner Tribunal substantive fitness to practise hearings.

At a fitness to practise hearing, where a doctor’s fitness to practise has been found to be currently impaired, and where the tribunal had imposed an interim order of conditions or suspension, there will be a review hearing.

At the review hearing the doctor must present evidence relating to their current fitness to practise. Where a doctor’s fitness to practise is found to be still impaired a further sanction can be imposed, which could be a period of suspension, conditions, or in some cases erasure. It is therefore very important that a doctor prepares well for a GMC/MPTS Review Hearing.

The tribunal will usually have listed the types of evidence that a doctor might choose to present, which would be of assistance to the tribunal tasked with reviewing the evidence. Some doctors fail to appreciate how important it is to follow through on that guidance. Further, there are often a number of other steps that a doctor can take to increase their prospects of success at a hearing.

In Abrahaem v GMC [2008] EWHC 183 (Admin), the judge opined (at para 23) that:

In Practical terms there is a persuasive burden on the practitioner at a review to demonstrate that he or she has fully acknowledged why past professional performance was deficient and through insight, application, education, supervision or other achievement sufficiently addressed past impairments“.

It should also be noted that at paragraph 163 of the Sanctions Guidance (2018) holds that:

It is important that no doctor is allowed to resume unrestricted practice following a period of conditional registration or suspension unless the tribunal considers that they are safe to do so“.

Such principles will influence the decision-making of the tribunal and a doctor must therefore ensure that they present the appropriate evidence needed to satisfy such concerns that may arise from a long period away from unrestricted practice.

Doctors Defence Service advises and represents doctors in relation to and at GMC/MPTS Review Hearings. For more information, contact us on 0800 10 88 739