Simon Gurney and Clyde & Co secure termination of GMC investigation into Consultant gynaecologist at Rule 7 Stage

“The positive outcome was only made possible by Mr Gurney’s wide experience in dealing with similar professional regulatory cases. His ability to grasp details, his tactful approach and his compelling arguments are outstanding. He is very approachable and I was able to contact him at any time, including the weekends. I strongly recommend him for anyone in a similar unfortunate situation.”

Those are the words of Dr S, a senior Consultant specialising in gynaecology who found herself under investigation by the GMC. She was represented by Simon Gurney, instructed by Clyde & Co.

The GMC investigated Dr S’s fitness to practise after concerns were raised about her management of a clinical case at a private hospital. An expert instructed by the GMC made serious criticisms of Dr S, as a result of which a number of allegations were raised against her, including the allegation that she had attempted a surgical procedure beyond her skills and competence and without obtaining informed consent.

Dr S was summoned before an Interim Orders Tribunal. At that stage she sought advice and assistance from Simon, a barrister experienced in healthcare regulation and with a strong track record in avoiding the imposition of interim orders.

Simon successfully persuaded the Tribunal not to make any order, meaning that Dr S was free to continue to practise whilst the GMC completed its investigation.

Dr S then sought Simon’s assistance in responding to the GMC’s investigation, having received the Rule 7 bundle, which includes a formal request for a Doctor’s response to the allegations against them.

Simon assisted Dr S to prepare a comprehensive statement in response. Dr S accepted some of the criticisms made by the GMC’s expert, but denied the most serious criticisms concerning her competence. The response sought to persuade the GMC’s Case Examiners that there was no realistic prospect of establishing that her fitness to practise was impaired.

The GMC recently wrote to Dr S confirming that the Case Examiners had decided, in the light of the representations, to close the investigation with only a few words of advice.

Simon Gurney specialises in healthcare regulation, representing professionals at all stages of the fitness to practise process, whether at the earliest stages of an investigation, during the interim orders and fitness to practise hearings themselves or in appeal proceedings. Should you required advice or representation please contact David Wright, the Senior Clerk in Chambers on 0161 832 5701 or at