Intended for healthcare professionals


UK Supreme Court backs GP who refused to pay £10 000 compensation to patient’s widow

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 13 May 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2743
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

The Northern Ireland complaints commissioner was acting beyond his powers when he recommended that a GP give the widow of a patient who died from a heart attack a consolatory payment of £10 000, the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court has ruled.

The unnamed GP apologised but refused to pay the £10 000, even though the commissioner threatened to lay a special report about the case before the Northern Ireland Assembly if he failed to pay.

The GP mounted a legal challenge to the commissioner’s decision, which initially failed but was successful in the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal in 2014. The appeal court judges …

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