Restoration to the GMC

We have experience of successfully representing doctors before the GMC in contested restoration applications. If you have been previously erased by a GMC or MPTS fitness to practise panel, we can review your case and give you realistic advice about your prospects of successfully applying for restoration.

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Following an erasure by a fitness to practise panel, 5 years must lapse until a doctor is eligible to apply for restoration. However, doctors should not make the mistake of assuming that an application for restoration is a simple or administrative exercise. There is no legal right for a doctor to be restored after 5 years following erasure. It is for a doctor to prove to the satisfaction of the Tribunal that they are now fit for restoration; a process which can be described as an uphill battle.

Following an erasure by a fitness to practise panel, 5 years must lapse until a doctor is eligible to apply for restoration. However, doctors should not make the mistake of assuming that an application for restoration is a simple or administrative exercise. There is no legal right for a doctor to be restored after 5 years following erasure. It is for a doctor to prove to the satisfaction of the Tribunal that they are now fit for restoration; a process which can be described as an uphill battle.

A doctor will need to apply for restoration to the GMC with detailed supporting documentary evidence, demonstrating why they are fit to be restored to the GMC’s register.

The GMC will then refer a doctor’s application for restoration to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) who will list the case for a hearing. It will then be for the MPTS after a hearing to decide whether to grant the doctor’s application for restoration.

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How does the MPTS decide whether ot grant a doctor's application for restoration?

The MPTS will list the case for a hearing, usually for 3-4 days, depending on the circumstances. The doctor will be given at least 28 days’ notice of the hearing date. The MPTS will take into consideration the availability of the doctor and the doctor’s legal representative before deciding on the date for your hearing.

At the hearing, the Tribunal will hear evidence which the doctor wishes to present. The doctor will usually give oral evidence and can expect to be asked questions by the GMC’s lawyer and the Tribunal.

A doctor does not have to be legally represented in a restoration hearing, as they may wish to represent themselves. However, the GMC will always be legally represented and so a doctor may wish to have ‘equality of arms’ by having their own lawyer present to advise and represent them.

What sort of evidence will the MPTS wish to hear?

The MTPS will have the transcript and determination from the original decision to erase the doctor’s name from the register. The doctor will need to demonstrate that they are now a fit and suitable character to be restored, that they have full insight into the circumstances which led to their erasure and that they have remediated their position.

Typical documentary evidence will include:

- A witness statement from the doctor;
- Up to date character testimonials;
- What the doctor has been doing since their erasure;
- The doctor’s CPD records since their erasure;
- Reflection documentation;
- References from any employers since their erasure.

The documentary evidence put forward by the doctor in a restoration application will make a significant difference to the outcome. It is worth taking time to get this right.

We can provide a doctor with a detailed plan of exactly what they should include in their application, including guidance on further courses which the doctor may wish to consider. We can also provide assistance with structuring a doctor’s reflection statement, which is a task which many doctors struggle with.

Fully preparing for a restoration application and hearing, is a time-consuming process. It is worth seeking legal advice and support up to 6 months in advance of when you intend to, submit your application. This will enable us to advise you regarding any further steps you can take in the intervening period, to give yourself the best prospects of successfully applying for restoration.

What factors do the Tribunal take into consideration in a restoration hearing?

Each case is different, but in general terms the Tribunal will take into consideration factors such as:

- The original case which led to the doctor’s erasure;
- What level of insight into past failings the doctor can demonstrate;
- What the doctor has done since their erasure;
- What steps the doctor has taken to keep their medical knowledge and skills up to date since their erasure;
- The level of rehabilitation the doctor has made, both professionally and personally.

Will I be ordered to undertake a performance assessment?

A Tribunal may decide to adjourn a case part way through and order that the doctor undertakes a performance, or health assessment, to assist them with their decision.

If a Tribunal orders a performance assessment, then the doctor will need to pay for this. The cost is currently £6000 which will need to be paid before the assessment takes place.

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What decisions can the MPTS make when considering a doctor’s application for restoration?

The MPTS can grant or refuse the doctor’s application. The Tribunal does not have the power to grant GMC restoration subject to any conditions or other restrictions. The Tribunal will, therefore, be deciding whether the doctor is fit to resume unrestricted medical practice.

If the MPTS refuse the doctor’s application, the doctor will need to wait at least 12 months before making a fresh application for restoration.

If a doctor has had two applications for restoration refused, then the Tribunal may make an order to indefinitely suspend the doctor’s right to make a further application for restoration. A doctor will then need to wait for a further 3 years to lapse before they can apply for this suspension to be reviewed.

If I am restored to the register, how quickly can I resume working as a doctor?

Once a Tribunal grants a doctor’s application for restoration, the GMC will contact the doctor to complete various administrative tasks, including an identity check, before the restoration is complete. However, this process is normally undertaken fairly quickly.

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If you wish to apply for GMC restoration following erasure by an MPTS/GMC Fitness to Practise Panel, please contact us before submitting your application, to enable us to give you legal advice about your application, including any further steps which we recommend you undertake to strengthen your application. We can also represent you at the restoration hearing, to maximise your prospects of success.

– We provide legal advice, support and representation for doctors in contested restoration applications
– We review cases and provide realistic advice about doctors’ prospects of restoration after being previously erased by a GMC or MPTS fitness to practice panel

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