A doctor who appealed against an MPT misconduct and impairment finding has lost their appeal in Khan v GMC [2024] EWHC 1330 (Admin).

This is an appeal under s 40 of the Medical Act 1983 by the Appellant, Dr Itrat Khan, against the findings of the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal (MPT) on misconduct and impairment. On 2 March 2023 he was suspended for a period of six months and an immediate order imposed.

Mr Justice Julian Knowles noted that:

“There is no separate challenge to the decision on sanction, which stands or falls on the misconduct and impairment appeal.”

The misconduct for which the suspension was imposed involved prescribing medication to, and accessing, the records of a patient (Patient B) with whom the Appellant initially was in a sexual relationship and later in a non-sexual emotional relationship. Patient B had a history of depression and drug addiction, of which the Appellant was aware the judgement transcript noted.

The grounds of appeal against the findings of misconduct and impairment were as follows:

a. Ground 1: The Tribunal erred in relying on [1] and [53] of Good Medical Practice when concluding that Dr Khan’s behaviour amounted to misconduct.

b. Ground 2: The Tribunal’s finding of misconduct is inconsistent with its acceptance of Dr Khan’s account on his reasons for writing the prescriptions.

c. Ground 3: The Tribunal erred in rejecting the proposition that Dr Khan’s genuine personal difficulties explained and/or justified his conduct.

d. Ground 4: The Tribunal erred in adopting the definition of “pursue” as set out in its determination.

e. Ground 5: The Tribunal erred in conflating the issues relevant to misconduct with those relating to impairment, and thus did not approach the issues in the two stage process identified in the jurisprudence.

f. Ground 6: The Tribunal made a finding of impairment on matters of facts which had not been alleged and were therefore unproven.

g. Ground 7: Dr Khan is not a risk to the public, and the Tribunal failed to give proper weight to the context of his admitted failings.

h. Ground 8: Further or alternatively, the Tribunal failed to provide any or any adequate reasons as to why it rejected Dr Khan’s reflection as genuine or that the remediation undertaken by him was insufficient.

i. Ground 9: Further or alternatively, the Tribunal’s determination failed to identify what further steps they would have expected Dr Khan to undertake in order to be persuaded of his full remediation.

j. Ground 10: Further or alternatively, the Tribunal did not give adequate weight to Dr Khan’s full and timeous acceptance of the allegations.

The Appellant did not pursue ground 5.

UK Fitness to Practise News

Mr Justice Julian Knowles refused the appeal, commenting that:

“This is a case about how the Appellant went about his clinical practice. It is not concerned with matters not directly related to clinical practice (eg sexual misconduct), where the Court is more free to make its own assessment, as I explained earlier. I therefore accept that I should approach the MPT’s decision with due deference for the reasons given.

“I consider that the MPT was properly directed as to the law, in particular about the meaning of ‘misconduct’ by reference to the relevant authorities, including in particular Roylance. They were told that they had to find the misconduct to be serious. They were also told that behaviour that is trivial, or inconsequential, or is a mere temporary lapse, or is something that is otherwise excusable or forgivable is not misconduct.

“During the hearing I queried with Mr Mant about whether ‘serious’ should be read into the statutory test, but as I have said, he was content to accept that it should. I therefore adopt that approach to the MPT’s findings.

“Applying this approach, I do not consider it can be said that the MPT’s decision was ‘wrong’. Approaching the matter with the necessary deference, I do not think that the MPT made any material errors of fact; it applied the correct law; and it had regard to all relevant considerations.”

Knowles J ultimately ruling:

“Deciding this case has required detailed reconsideration of many of the matters argued below and the hundreds of pages that have been filed. No error of law or principle was identified which would allow this court to intervene. This appeal is therefore dismissed.”

Disclaimer: The accuracy and information of news stories published on this website is accurate on the date of publishing. We endeavour to update stories if information change. You can contact us with change and update requests. Where possible, we will link to sources. Content on this website is for guidance purposes only. We cannot accept any responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken, or not taken. You should seek the appropriate legal advice having regard to your own particular circumstances.

Insight Works Training

Restoration Courses

Courses suitable for any health and social care practitioner who is considering making an application for restoration back onto the register.

Insight Works Training

Insight & Remediation

Courses that are suitable for any healthcare practitioner who is facing an investigation or hearing at work or before their regulatory body.

Insight Works Training

Probity, Ethics & Professionalism

Courses designed for those facing a complaint involving in part or in whole honesty, integrity and /or professionalism.