Dr Uddin (U) appealed against a decision by a GMC Fitness to Practise Panel to remove him from the register. Whilst he was a training as a GP, he had falsifi ed entries in part of his assessment portfolio, including forging references; he did not tell his course directors about the extent of his falsifi cation or that he had been dishonest. The panel considered that the falsifi cation was done to achieve the GP qualifi cation; U had not apologised to the people whose references he had forged; and they were not satisfi ed that U would not repeat this type of conduct. His action could have put patient safety at risk. The Panel decided that U’s fi tness to practise was impaired by his misconduct and, when deciding the sanction (removal from the register), relied on the evidence obtained when considering U’s impairment.

U appealed on the basis that the Panel was wrong in determining his sanction based on the evidence obtained on impairment. He argued that this did not satisfy the three-stage process required by Protocol 1, Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

It was held that:

  • The findings at the impairment and sanction stage were not unfair, as U would have given the same evidence in both stages. The fact that the Panel were unable to conclude that the dishonesty would not be repeated was exactly the kind of matter that the Panel were able to take into account when considering removal. 
  • When reviewing the sanctions imposed by a Fitness to Practise Panel, the prima facie position was that the court would defer to the views of the Panel, although the court was not bound by the Panel’s conclusion.
  • The Panel had followed the three-stage process required by Protocol 1 Art.1. It went through the available options sequentially, on the basis that it was appropriate to impose the most lenient sanction, insofar as that was consistent with the purpose of imposing sanctions.

Uddin v GMC (2012) QBD (Admin) 02.02.2012