Simon Gurney secures termination of GMC investigation at the Rule 7 stage

Dr R, a senior house officer specialising in urology, found himself under investigation by the GMC in relation to applications he had submitted for employment in the health sector. He was accused of completing job applications dishonestly by failing to disclose on the application forms his fitness to practise history. Dr R had previously been investigated by the GMC and had undertakings imposed on his licence to practise, but he ticked boxes on the forms which said he had no such history.

Dr R was summoned before an Interim Orders Tribunal. At that stage he sought advice and assistance from Simon Gurney, 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 R was free to continue in practise whilst the GMC completed its investigation.

Dr R 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 R to prepare a comprehensive statement in response. Although Dr R accepted that his conduct had been misleading, he denied acting dishonestly. The response drafted by Simon sought to persuade the GMC’s Case Examiners that Dr R had not been dishonest and, importantly, that there was no realistic prospect of establishing that his fitness to practise was impaired.

The GMC recently wrote to Dr R 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 fitness to practise hearing itself or in appeal proceedings. Should you required advice or representation please contact David Wright, the Senior Clerk in Chambers.