Doctor Continuing to engage in clinical practice whilst suspended

This case was heard by way of appeal in the Administrative Court. The doctor was a cosmetic surgeon. He continued to advise and attend upon a female patient who had sought help in respect of a breast augmentation procedure. The doctor had by the time of her second appointment been suspended as a result of an interim orders panel hearing of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service for other allegations of misconduct. He was also present during the operating procedure conducted by another surgeon. Following the operation she attended upon the clinic and saw the doctor in question and developed post operative complications, in respect of which she made a complaint to the GMC.

As a result further disciplinary charges were laid against the doctor concerning his continuing to treat a patient whilst under an Interim Order of Suspension, in breach of that suspension and failing to inform the patient that he was in fact subject to an order of suspension.

The appeal concerned the terms and conditions of a suspension order and what a doctor can or cannot do whilst subject to the same. The doctor argued that he had done nothing that he wasn’t entitled to do including providing the patient with a contact number for a mobile phone he remained in possession of during the suspension and conducting a visual examination. He argued that his involvement had not been such for which registration was required under GMC regulation.

The case reiterated the fact that a suspension order operates so as to effectively remove the registered status of a doctor and as such the doctor does not have the requisite license to practice. He had in this case held himself out in providing advice and treatment to the patient as a registered medical practitioner with a license to practice and was therefore in breach of an order of suspension.

The Court held that the MPTS had been correct in making a further Suspension Order and the appeal was dismissed.