GP Warned for Dishonest Conduct
DOCTOR FOUND NOT IMPAIRED AFTER FINDINGS OF DISHONESTY
Penny Maudsley of London.Barristers represented a GP who had returned from working abroad, admitted to multiple charges of dishonesty by working as a locum GP in several group practices in England when not on the Medical Performers List. When questioned, she falsely stated that she was on a Medical Performers list in the north of England. Further, she failed to engage with the GMC investigatory process and was subsequently suspended by an Interim Order Tribunal. She failed to disclose her interim order when applying for further work both in the United and Kingdom and when she returned to work abroad.
The doctor attended her hearing, having flown back to the United Kingdom to engage with the process and give evidence before the Tribunal. She admitted to all the charges.
In the determination on misconduct, the Tribunal found that the doctor’s dishonest conduct ‘did fall far short of the standards of conduct reasonably expected of a doctor and was so serious as to amount to misconduct.’
The Tribunal reminded itself of the test for impairment. It found the doctor to be a frank and honest witness, who had given clear and frank answers to all questions. She was genuinely remorseful and had apologised to all concerned, had insight into the requirement to be on the Medical Performer’s List, the impact her dishonest conduct had on patient safety and on public confidence in the medical profession.
The Tribunal acknowledged that dishonesty was difficult to remediate but found that the doctor had undertaken extensive attempts at remediation. It was noted that the doctor had been ‘subject to a combination of significant factors’ which had affected her thinking and decision making for the duration of the dishonest conduct but had not sought to justify her actions. The Tribunal was satisfied that the doctor had put measures in place to ensure her misconduct was not repeated.
The Tribunal considered the circumstances to be unique.
The doctor’s employer and colleagues provided testimonials saying that they had no concerns with her honesty, probity or integrity.
The Tribunal, therefore, determined that the likelihood of repetition in this case, was exceptionally low.
Giving consideration to all three limbs of the statutory overarching objective, the Tribunal found that the doctor did not pose a risk to patient safety and that the ‘confidence of members of the public, fully informed of the circumstances this case, would not be undermined were there to be a finding of no impairment.’
In addition, ‘given the circumstances of this case, it concluded that its duty to promote and uphold proper professional standards for the profession was satisfied by this rigorous regulatory process which had resulted in a finding of serious professional misconduct.’
The Tribunal made a finding of no impairment. However, the doctor was issued with a warning.
Q: Is this decision likely to be appealed by the GMC?
A: The GMC has lodged an appeal.
If you are a professional facing allegations of dishonesty, contact Barristers.London without obligation and in strict confidence to see how we may assist you and to discuss the potential costs of such work.
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