Robert Kellar has successfully defended a paediatrician in proceedings brought by the GMC alleging him to have been dishonest in the way he prepared notes of a patient consultation and in relation to the way he had subsequently discussed that matter with senior colleagues.  The MPTS found that the paediatrician had not been dishonest, but the GMC appealed to the High Court which substituted a finding of dishonesty by applying the Supreme Court case of Ivey v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd [2017] UKSC 67 and, further, found his fitness to practise to be impaired.

Robert and Michael argued before the Court of Appeal that, correctly applying Ivey to the facts found at first instance, no finding of dishonesty should have been made.  The Court of Appeal agreed and quashed the High Court’s finding of dishonesty and impairment. The Court further observed that it should in future require a very strong case for a court to overturn a finding of the MPTS, or any comparable tribunal, that a doctor had not acted dishonestly. The Tribunal was well place to make its assessment having heard directly from the relevant witnesses including the doctor himself.

This case is also of note because it considered in some depth – and by reference to Article 6 ECHR – whether the GMC had jurisdiction to appeal MPTS warnings, in circumstances where there was no corresponding right of appeal for doctors. The Court of Appeal ultimately found that the High Court did have jurisdiction.

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