Dr Arora’s tribunal hearing raised concerns among the medical profession about whether the handling of the case and the outcome of the hearing were proportionate to the allegations received by the GMC.
In light of feedback around the case, the GMC’s Chief Executive Charlie Massey determined that a review should be carried out to see whether there are lessons to be learnt for future cases.
The General Medical Council (GMC) has appointed Professor Iqbal Singh CBE and Martin Forde QC to oversee a review of the Dr Manjula Arora case.
Professor Singh is a hugely experienced consultant clinician specialising in care of the elderly. He is a pioneer in ethnic health and diversity and is Chair of the GMC’s BME doctors forum. He is also Chair of the Centre of Excellence in Safety for Older People and Centre for Remediation and Support.
Martin Forde QC’s recent work includes leading the independent investigation into a report into antisemitism within the Labour Party in 2020, and acting as the independent adviser to the Windrush Compensation Scheme from 2018 to 2021.
The terms of reference for the review will mean that it looks at:
- the referral to the GMC
- the decision to carry the referral through to an investigation, and the allegations at Rule 7 (the point at which allegations are put to a doctor for their response)
- the GMC case examiner decision after receiving the response to allegations
- input from the GMC’s legal team including instructions to counsel pre-hearing
- presentation of the GMC’s case before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), the independent tribunal which hears cases brought by the GMC.
Charlie Massey said:
‘It is absolutely right that the GMC’s decisions about a doctor’s ability to practise in the UK are open to scrutiny.
‘I believe that the GMC can be a positive force for improvement, and we will only be able to fulfil that role if we are open to learning from every case that we investigate.
‘I am very grateful to Professor Singh and Martin Forde QC for agreeing to oversee this review. Their expertise and knowledge of medical practice and regulatory proceedings will be invaluable in bringing an external lens to our processes.’
The review will be carried out during the summer with a view to publishing findings and recommendations by September 2022.