Once the GMC has investigated and made a decision, the case may be closed with no further action. Alternatively, you may receive a rule 7 letter that outlines the allegations, the evidence and the findings following an investigation.
If we assist with your case, this is usually when we would respond to the GMC in order to try and achieve the best outcome for you. Before any response is due, our medicolegal experts and lawyers will have worked with you to review the facts and evidence and prepare any defence or explanation that might be needed.
Without expert help many doctors risk failing to properly evidence their case or points of mitigation, and in doing so miss the opportunity to influence the process and outcome.
Once a response has been submitted, the GMC has a number of options about how to progress with your case. They could take it to a hearing, but the majority of cases where we support our members go no further.
If the GMC refers you to a fitness to practise hearing, your Medical Protection team will continue to support you, helping you prepare for the hearing and arranging legal representation. This representation is important. We have found that doctors who represent themselves tend to face stronger sanctions than those backed by a legal team.
Most doctors who appear before a hearing with legal representation receive this support as part of their membership of an MDO like Medical Protection. For those who have to pay for this legal support, the cost can be prohibitively expensive. It is not unusual for the cost of defending a doctor to exceed £80,000 when a GMC investigation leads to a hearing.