The High Court has partly upheld an appeal against a MPTS decision to erase a doctor’s registration from the register.

In Dutta v General Medical Council [2024] EWHC 1217 (Admin) (23 May 2024), the doctor faced a number of allegations relating to patient care and dishonesty:

“The MPT found that through his actions and by virtue of his dishonesty the Appellant had breached fundamental tenets of the medical profession and concluded there was a significant risk of repetition as a result of his lack of insight. The MPT directed that the Appellant’s name be erased from the register.”

The Appellant doctor appealed advanced ten 10 grounds of appeal, summarised as:

(1) First, it was not possible for Dr Dutta to receive a fair trial in the light of the very substantial and inexcusable delay in proceeding with these allegations;

(2) Secondly, the lateness of requesting a second case examiner to make a decision on cancellation meant that the Tribunal had been provided with a very substantial quantity of highly prejudicial material which would not have been in the bundle had the case examiner been able to make their decision sufficiently in advance of the hearing, the effect of which was that Dr Dutta did not receive a fair hearing;

(3) Next, the decision made by the tribunal in respect of each of the remaining individual allegations was contrary to the evidence or the weight of the evidence; and

(4) Lastly and, in any event, the decision to raise Dr Dutta from the register was excessive and disproportionate.

UK Fitness to Practise News
In an extensive judgement, Her Honour Judge Belcher ruled that:
“I reject the general Grounds as to the effect of delay and prejudicial evidence on the fairness of the MPT decision and which formed Grounds 1 and 2 of the Appeal as argued before me. In terms of the challenges to the findings of fact, I allow the appeal in relation to the findings on Allegations 8 and 13 which must therefore be quashed. I reject the appeal in relation to the findings on Allegations 9 and 10 and those findings stand. The finding in connection with Allegation 14 also stands since the only challenge to it was on the more general Grounds which I have rejected. It follows that this matter will have to be remitted to the MPT for reconsideration of the determinations on fitness to practice and sanction based on the remaining findings.”

Allegation 8 related was that between December 2019 and January 2020, on one or more occasions Dr Dutta told the CQC inspector(s) that ‘Patient C did not have a cardiac arrest at ABC’, or words to that effect, which was untrue and which he knew to be untrue.

Allegation 13 related to allegations that the Appellant doctor acted contrary to an assurance given to and a notice provided by the CQC and in breach of an IOT condition.

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