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High Court criticises the GMC for seeking the maximum length of suspension for a doctor without giving any proper consideration to whether that was needed
Hayat v GMC, High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division,Case No: CO/17627/2013
This was an application made by Dr Hayat made under s.41A of the Medical Act 1983 to terminate the doctor's suspension, which had been imposed by the Interim Orders Panel of the GMC. Philip Engelman appeared for Dr Hayat. Although unable to persuade the Judge (Charles J) to terminate the suspension, Mr Engelman was successful in his argument that the suspension imposed by the GMC in this case was too long.
The Judge took the opportunity to criticise the GMC for seeking the maximum length of suspension (18 months) without giving any proper consideration to whether that was needed. The Judge said that the GMC needed to identify the next steps in the process it was undertaking in relation to Dr Hayat and to consider how long the process would take, and that it had so far failed to do this. He could find no reference in the relevant transcripts, decisions etc to the need to keep the suspension to a minimum. He therefore noted the dates on which Dr Hayat’s performance assessments would take place and shortened the suspension period to one year. The Judge was concerned at an increasing trend of cases in which the GMC automatically imposed the maximum suspension.