Friday, October 2, 2009

MPS wins members' right to legal representation in hospital disciplinary hearings

27 July 2009The Medical Protection Society (MPS) today welcomes the Court of Appeal decision that NHS hospital doctors have the right to legal representation at disciplinary hearings, where serious charges are raised. The ruling gives doctors a contractual right to legal representation by a lawyer instructed by a medical defence organisation (MDO).Dr Priya Singh, Medical Director at MPS, speaking about the decisions says, "This is a landmark ruling, confirming that current NHS Trust disciplinary procedures do confer a contractual right for doctors to be legally represented by their MDO. Clearly, this reinforces the importance for all NHS doctors to ensure that they have membership of an MDO which is necessary to secure the contractual rights referred to in today's judgment."The judgment also indicates that where NHS hospital doctors face allegations so serious that, if found proven; they would be effectively barred from practising, Article 6 of the Human Rights Act, namely the right to a fair trail, is engaged. This includes the right to legal representation. Whilst it recognises that employers may face difficulty in drawing the line between cases where Article 6 is and is not engaged, it nonetheless makes it unlawful to refuse legal representation in a case which does engage Article 6.Further more Dr Priya Singh adds: "Employers would now be well advised to give all requests for legal representation fair and careful consideration, and to agree."--More information and deeper readings from Dr Priya Singh will be appearing on her official online blog!Source:

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