How can MPS help?
Members sometimes come up against problems that are out of the ordinary. MPS considers borderline requests for assistance on the merits, balancing the individual member’s needs against the responsibility to use members’ funds wisely and in the interests of the membership as a whole. The following are examples of problems where detailed consideration of the exercising of discretion to assist may be warranted.
Criminal proceedings arising from non-clinical practice
We can exercise our discretion to assist with criminal allegations, but this does not usually extend to allegations of fraud or theft, on the basis that these offences arise from the business aspects of practice.
Allegations of fraud
It is unlikely that we would provide assistance in connection with allegations of fraud arising from business dealings. Occasionally, allegations of fraud may have arisen from professional life, for example, errors on a CV, or in research. Such cases are considered on their individual merits.
If a member is the named defendant in a defamation claim, we may assist if the alleged defamation stems from their professional practice and their professional reputation is likely to suffer serious harm.
Other employment and disciplinary issues
MPS is unlikely to assist where a member faces a disciplinary investigation or hearing arising from:
- Employment or contractual issues
- Working relationships with colleagues
- The business of practice.
Assistance is very unlikely to be offered with complaints or claims arising from a member’s conduct that is of a wholly personal nature clearly unrelated to professional practice, or only loosely related to the practice of medicine (for example, by virtue of having been committed at the work/practice premises, or because they happened to involve an employee or working colleague).
Taken from MPS cases handled between June 2012 and May 2013. Words by Gareth Gillespie and Sara Williams