The BBC recently shared the experience of a Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) doctor who was jailed but his conviction was quashed on appeal. 

Nine years ago, a patient died under the care of surgeon David Sellu. He was jailed but his conviction was quashed on appeal. 

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Sellu said he believes his race had an impact on how his case was handled, and he has raised concerns about how the General Medical Council (GMC) treats black and ethnic minority doctors.

The BBC reported that figures it obtained by a BBC Freedom of Information request suggest the GMC is more likely to investigate complaints against BAME doctors than those who are white.  A note of caution however, the BBC did not make available the FOI data to verify this ascertain. 

BAME doctors make up around a third of the workforce in the UK but are “over-represented” in fitness to practise cases. 

In response, the GMC said: “We know employers are more likely to refer BAME doctors than white doctors to the GMC. We want to understand why, and have commissioned independent experts to carry out a major piece of research into those disproportionate referrals.” 

Also in response to issues affecting BAME doctors in medicine, the GMC has setup the BME Doctor’s Forum which aims to help the GMC’s regulatory work respond better to the needs of UK BAME doctors.  The forum is made up of membership from: 

  • Association of Pakistani Physicians and Surgeons (UK)
  • British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO)
  • British International Doctors Association (BIDA)
  • British Medical Association (BMA)
  • British Sikh Doctors Organisation (BSDO)
  • Egyptian Medical Society
  • Indian Medical Association
  • Medical Association of Nigerians across Great Britain (MANSAG)
  • Progressive Muslims Forum
  • Sri-Lankan Medical and Dental Association in the UK

Are you a BAME doctor who has experienced issues with the GMC’s fitness to practise process? If so, either leave us a comment below or contact us for expert GMC legal advice.

Stephen McCaffrey

I am a GMC Defence Barrister who has represented large number of medical professionals before their regulatory bodies in either first instance proceedings or appeals.  I can help with all matters relating to GMC Fitness to Practise Referrals issues including:

  • GMC fitness to practise referrals
  • GMC fitness to practise hearings
  • Appeals against a MPTS Tribunal determination
  • MPTS Interim Order hearings
  • Appeals against a MPTS Interim Orders Tribunal determination
  • Preparing your case before the Case Examiners
  • Help with the decision of the Case Examiners
  • Help with voluntary removal
  • Registration advice
  • Appeal against refusal of registration
  • Restoration to the Register
  • Investigation and disciplinary hearings at work
  • Criminal investigation and proceedings
  • Police cautions
  • DBS [Disclosure and Barring Service] issues


We are expert GMC Defence Barristers

Speak to an expert GMC Defence Barrister for expert legal advice and help.