Who can appeal?
Any doctor found impaired by a tribunal can appeal under Section 40 of the Medical Act 1983 (amended). They must file their appeal within 28 days of being notified of the tribunal's decision.
A doctor can also challenge any other decision, a warning for example, by judicial review.
The General Medical Council (GMC)
The GMC can appeal against decisions made by a medical practitioners tribunal.
They can appeal:
- a tribunal sanction
- a decision to restore a doctor to the register
- an order in response to a doctor’s non-compliance with an investigation.
They can do this if they feel the tribunal's decision is not sufficient for the protection of the public.
The Professional Standards Authority (PSA)
The PSA can refer a medical practitioners tribunal’s decision to court. It can do this if it believes the decision is not sufficient for the protection of the public.
Where are appeals made to?
Depending on the doctor’s registered address, appeals are made to the:
- Court of Session in Scotland
- High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland
- High Court of Justice in England and Wales
The Civil Procedure Rules 1998 governs appeals.
What can happen at a court appeal hearing?
If a case proceeds to a court hearing, the judge can:
- dismiss the appeal
- allow the appeal, in whole or in part, and quash the relevant decision
- substitute the decision appealed against for any other decision which could have been made by the tribunal
- refer the case to the Registrar of the General Medical Council for them to refer it to a medical practitioners tribunal to dispose of the case in accordance with the directions of the court.