Pattar v General Medical Council

QBD (Admin) [3 Nov 2010]

A doctor, P, who worked as a locum consultant physician and gastroenterologist was suspended five days into his contract. The suspension followed a complaint by a patient relating to his examination of her and a series of other allegations relating to clinical matters and his behaviour to colleagues and patients.  

The Fitness to Practise Panel considered charges of professional misconduct and deficient professional conduct and suspended P. The panel stated that P must demonstrate that he had addressed concerns relating to his medical knowledge and professional relationships before being allowed to return to unrestricted practice. It also stated that he must undergo a formal assessment of his professional medical performance.

P did not appeal against this decision, but refused to submit to such an assessment. Neither did P present any evidence to the panel which reviewed his suspension that he had addressed the original Panel's concerns. The review panel considered the Indicative Sanctions Guidance and the various sanctions available and determined that as P had demonstrated a persistent lack of insight into his previous failings and their consequences, erasure was the appropriate sanction and was necessary both in the public interest and in order to protect the public.

On appeal, the court considered P's refusal to undergo an assessment and his failure to present any evidence of having taken the steps required of him. It found that the review panel had considered the options available to it and had explained, with reasons, why no sanction other than erasure was appropriate. The court held that the panel's decision was not wrong or in any way tainted and so its decision should not be set aside.