Head of chambers, Stephen McCaffrey and Catherine Stock, have successfully defended a foundation doctor before the GMC’s Fitness to Practise Panel.
The foundation doctor was referred to the GMC by two separate teaching hospitals for failing their Foundation Programme.
The foundation doctor appeared before the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) panel where their contract was discontinued.
The foundation doctor was consequently referred to the GMC who decided to deal with matter as a competency issue before the Fitness to Practise Panel at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).
GMC Defence Barristers Continually objected to this approach by the GMC on a number of grounds but principally on the grounds that their evidence was limited to reliance of the ARCP Chair’s witness that that of an expert witness rather than the individuals who allegedly witnessed the issues.
GMC Defence Barristers made an application to the MPTS as a preliminary legal argument to seek a ruling that all their evidence was inadmissible. Stephen McCaffrey appeared for the foundation doctor before the MPTS and successfully argued that the case was manifestly unfair and a breach of Article 6 of the Human Rights Act in its current form on the basis that no opportunity would exist to cross-examine any witnesses on events because the GMC were refusing to call them.
The foundation doctor, represented by GMC Defence Barristers, said: “Absolutely brilliant – thanks so much for fighting for me. Even if we had lost the argument, I would have been delighted with the way Stephen and Catherine fought. I am delighted we moved representation and found you because no one has fought the GMC on my behalf like that so far. I cannot tell you how much this means. Thank you – I am lost for words.”
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