GMC Registration Law

GMC Registration Law and Procedure

GMC Registration Law for Overseas Doctors

GMC Registration Law & Appeals

Doctors Defence Service has specialist lawyers who deal with overseas applications for UK General Medical Council (GMC) registration as a registered medical practitioner – both GMC registration and GMC licences.

Registration applications can be complicated affairs and many doctors who make applications for registration will be unsuccessful because of their failure to present their evidence in a way that demonstrates that they qualify for registration. The time it takes to obtain GMC registration can be very frustrating for doctors; the process is likely to take many months, especially if a doctor also has to go through the appeal process as well.

Whether a doctor is eligible for GMC registration will be dependent on many factors. Since 2021 there is a new eligibility process, which you can read about here: 2021 GMC Registration Law Update Since Brexit.

Our registration law specialist lawyers will advise you on the type of evidence you will need to obtain or compile in order to make a strong initial application to the GMC for UK registration to practise as a registered medical practitioner. Our lawyers can also advise you on the evidence you will need to obtain and submit should you choose to appeal a GMC decision to refuse registration.

Our lawyers can often advise doctors on whether there is a good prospect of success of their acquiring registration or whether their current application is likely to be futile. Not all applicants will be successful and it may be necessary to go the PLAB route in the alternative, or otherwise obtain further qualifications, skills and suitable experience to be able to make a further application for UK GMC registration in the future.

Doctors Defence Service lawyers will assist you with making written and oral submissions, where appropriate. Submitting the best evidence will greatly enhance a doctor’s prospects of success and our lawyers will scrutinise the evidence that each doctor has available to them and assist the doctor in presenting it in a manner that may assist them.

GMC RegistrationRegistration applications should be made with full consideration of the regulatory criteria that apply. Many doctors make mistakes when filling out the form, which might cause permanent damage to their prospects of success. A doctor should ensure that they provide cogent and reliable evidence that complies with the GMC’s requirements. A doctor must prove that they are fit to practise, and that their fitness to practise is not currently impaired. See the GMC’s guidance for more details: GMC Registrations Guidance (GDM4)

The GMC must act fairly when making decisions about registration applications, in accordance with the following guidance: Principles which apply to decision making in relation to registration and revalidation (GDM00).

Our lawyers will advise doctors on the strength of their case and whether there may be alternatives if an application is unsuccessful.

Where registration is granted there is also now a need for a licence to practice. The application for a licence is part of the same process for applications.

Further, many doctors are initially granted temporary or conditional registration, with a requirement that they work a year in a supervised position, in a location where there is good clinical governance and supervision of their work, to ensure that the doctor has the necessary support of experienced UK doctors who are familiar with the culture of healthcare in the UK and the clinical protocols that are in place in the UK. The GMC maintains a list of healthcare providers deemed suitable to provide such supervised placements.

Number of GMC Registered Medical Practitioners: The number of doctors registered with the GMC has varied slightly in recent years. In 2006 there were 240,328 doctors on the register. In 2007 there were 244,537 doctors on the register. In 2008 there were 247,530 doctors on the register. In 2009 there were 231,415. By 2010, the number had increased slightly to 239,292 doctors on the register. The UK is currently looking to recruit certain specialist doctors as a result of the variation in the numbers of doctors that are registered in any one year. The GMC however must ensure that any doctor who applies for registration is appropriately qualified and capable of working to UK medical standards. (Source of Statistics: GMC 2009GMC 2010)

Where the GMC declines to register a doctor, the doctor may be able to appeal the GMC’s decision to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS). Not all decisions of the GMC Registrar may be appealed. See the GMC Legislation on Registration Appeals for more details. Our lawyers represent doctors in GMC registration appeals.

GMC Registration Case Law

The decision in R (Patel) v GMC [2012] EWHC 2120 (Admin) has now clarified the power that the GMC enjoys in definitively determining who can become a UK registered doctor.  Not all overseas qualifications will be recognised by the GMC, which may in turn thwart an overseas doctor’s ability to become a doctor in the UK. The GMC will therefore be able to lawfully decline to recognise certain qualifications. Dr Patel subsequently appealed the High Court’s decision, maintaining that the appeal judge had come to the wrong decision. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal on the ground that Dr Patel had been given a legitimate expectation by the GMC that his qualifications would be recognised: R (Patel) v General Medical Council [2013] EWCA Civ 327

See our article on the GMC Registration Process Since Brexit, in place from 2021.

Call us on 0800 10 88 739 to speak in confidence and without obligation about your GMC registration and GMC licence application, to see how Doctors Defence Service may be able to assist you.

Registration Law Lawyer

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