Intended for healthcare professionals


Rules suspending doctors’ pension benefits in cases of crime are “inherently unfair,” says judge

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 20 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m233
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

Rules allowing NHS pension benefits to be suspended if a doctor is charged with a serious crime are unlawful, unfair, and breach the presumption of innocence, a High Court judge has ruled.1

The judgment is a victory for the BMA and an embarrassment for health and social care secretary Matt Hancock, who introduced the rules in April 2019. The judge, Mrs Justice Andrews, said, “There is no evidence that anyone, from the minister himself downwards, turned their mind to the presumption of innocence and how this new power might impact upon it, at any stage before …

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