Tarek Moneim v General Medical Council

[2011] EWHC 327 (Admin)

A doctor was suspended for 12 months after he admitted altering the medical records of 32 patients and a finding that he had acted dishonestly in amending the records of six patients.

Dr Moneim appealed against the finding of dishonesty and his suspension. He did not appeal the finding of the Fitness to Practise panel that the amendments he made were misleading, not in the best interests of patients and not to be expected of a reasonably competent GP.

The appeal had three parts:

  • the fact that the proceedings were unfair in that the General Medical Council (GMC) had not been clear that its case was that the amending of the records could lead to a finding that the doctor had made false statements;
  • a finding of dishonesty was not reasonable on the evidence before the panel; and
  • if dishonesty was found, a suspension of 12 months was excessive.

The appeal failed on all counts.

It was held that there was no unfairness in the way that the GMC had stated its case, as the notice served on Dr M alleged dishonesty in relation to the six records where the finding had been made. It was also held that, except in the case of one record, the panel had had ample evidence on which to make a finding of dishonesty.

In relation to penalty, given the GMC’s indicative sanctions guidance which stated that in cases of dishonesty the likely penalty was strike off, the decision to impose a suspension order of 12 months was not excessive or wrong.