Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) is responsible for holding hearings for doctors whose fitness to practise is called into question. Doctors are referred to the MPTS by the General Medical Council (GMC) at the end of a GMC investigation, and therefore the MPTS operates entirely separate from the investigatory role of the GMC.
GMC decision makers may decide to refer your case to a medical practitioners’ tribunal hearing at the end of its investigation of allegations into your fitness to practise. The GMC will provide you with a copy of the written decision which explains why it has decided it is necessary to refer your case to a medical practitioners’ tribunal hearing.
A medical practitioners’ tribunal hearing will decide if the allegations are proven, if, in light of this, your fitness to practise is impaired and, if so, decide on the most appropriate sanction.
Most hearings have a legally qualified chair, who will be an experienced barrister or solicitor. The rest of the panel is made up of a lay person and a doctor, medically qualified with a licence to practise.
Hearings are generally held in public and are often reported on by the press, which can have an adverse effect on a doctor’s reputation.
MPTS Tribunal Hearings – Prepare for a Daunting, Prolonged and Legalistic Experience
It is important that you understand what to expect if your GMC investigation leads to an MPTS tribunal hearing, and why the tribunal process is universally described as ‘daunting’.
You will need to prepare for a trial in all but name – the hearing will be complex, formal and adversarial; the panel will be headed by a legally qualified chair; the process will be broad-ranging and lengthy.
“The whole legal process is something that’s out of my depth. I really needed someone to rely on. Catherine and her team went above and beyond getting me to be able to practice.” – MM
You should be aware that the GMC will always be represented by a highly trained barrister with relevant experience, who will have the ability to cross-examine you during the hearing. And the panel themselves will also be able to ask you questions.
Questions for any doctor facing a medical practitioners’ tribunal hearing, do you:
- Understand the regulatory process
- Understand what is meant by impairment
- Understand what is meant by reflections, insight, and remediation
- Have the necessary knowledge to be able to formulate a personal plan
- Understand how to prepare for your hearing
- Understand what the Tribunal will expect from you at the hearing
Insight Works Training
Developed by leading legal representatives for medical professionals facing health and social care tribunals, Insight Works Training have designed unique and practical courses with focus on impairment, reflections and remediation.
Courses are delivered by both leading healthcare experts with years of experience in mentoring and coaching who also sit on regulatory tribunal panels and, leading legal experts in the field of defence at health and social care regulatory tribunals.
Insight Works Training will help give you a clear and easy to follow understanding of the regulatory process, explanation of the central role of impairment, how to approach insight and remediation, how to evidence this at your hearing and a directed approach to presenting your learning with evidence in writing and verbally.
It is technically possible to make it through a GMC Investigation and MPTS Hearing without legal representation.
However, a specialist medical regulatory law barrister will offer you the benefit of their objectivity, training, experience and knowledge – likely saving you a considerable amount of time and money, a huge amount of distress, and quite possibly your future career. The GMC will be represented by an experienced, specialised barrister – why would you not do the same?
We have a proven track record of success, acting for a range of health and care professionals facing fitness to practise issues. You can read more about our case success, our excellent reviews and contact us for a free, no obligation case assessment.
Disclaimer: This article is for guidance purposes only. Kings View Chambers accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken, or not taken, in relation to this article. You should seek the appropriate legal advice having regard to your own particular circumstances.