Interim orders tribunals

This page provides information about interim orders tribunals.

When are cases referred to an interim orders tribunal?

An interim orders tribunal hearing looks at whether a doctor’s registration should be restricted while allegations about their conduct are resolved.

The GMC refers cases to interim orders tribunal hearings when doctors are facing allegations where

  • it may be necessary for the protection of members of the public, or
  • it may be in the public interest, or 
  • in the interests of the doctor

for the doctor's registration to be restricted whilst the allegations are resolved.

As well as the protection of the public, the public interest includes: 

  • preserving public trust in the profession
  • maintaining good standards of conduct and performance. 

What are the powers of an interim orders tribunal?

An interim orders tribunal may make an order suspending a doctor's registration or imposing conditions on a doctor's registration for up to 18 months.

All interim orders must be reviewed within six months of being imposed, and after that, at intervals of no more than six months.

The period of an interim order can be extended by the relevant court.

An interim orders tribunal will use our guidance document Imposing interim orders: Guidance for the interim orders tribunal, tribunal chair and medical practitioners tribunal (pdf) 

Who sits on an interim orders tribunal? 

Tribunal members are appointed through open competition by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service against agreed competencies.

The pool of tribunal members is large (around 280) but interim orders tribunals usually consist of three members. There must be at least one medical panellist and one non-medical panellist. View the full list of MPTS tribunal members.

The tribunal will be assisted by either a Legal Assessor (LA) or a Legally Qualified Chair, but not both. LAs and LQCs are experienced barristers or solicitors appointed to advise the tribunal on questions of law and of mixed law and fact, including the procedure and powers of the tribunal.

In hearings with an LQC, the tribunal will comprise of the LQC and a least two other tribunal members. The LQC and tribunal members make decisions together. 

Interim orders tribunal decisions

To access previous interim orders tribunal decisions, please see our recent decisions page.

Reviews

All interim orders must be reviewed within six months of being imposed, and after that, at intervals of no more than six months. 

The MPTS is able to hold a review 'on the papers' as an alternative to holding a hearing, if both the doctor and the GMC agree on an appropriate outcome. This means the review of the interim order by a tribunal or tribunal chair without the attendance of the doctor and the GMC.

View Policy guidance for medical practitioners tribunals and chairs: conducting reviews on the papers (pdf).