Judges overturn ruling that doctors in NHS disciplinary hearings cannot have lawyer

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 29 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3062
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    The Court of Appeal has overturned rules introduced four years ago denying doctors access to legal representation in disciplinary proceedings by NHS employers in England.

    The wording of the rules, agreed in 2005 after negotiations between the Department of Health and the BMA, was widely thought to have deprived doctors of the longstanding right to have a lawyer act for them at a disciplinary hearing.

    The health department was concerned about lengthy cases that saw consultants suspended for years on full pay and sought to make the procedure less formal by excluding lawyers. …

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