Decision and cost to appeal MPT decision on Dr Bawa-Garba

The request was partially successful.

Dear General Medical Council,

I recently heard about the Dr Bawa-Garba appeal, and realise it is a difficult situation with strong feeling on both sides. To assist me to better understand the matter, please can you provide:

1) The information your chief executive/final responsible officer had when decididing to appeal the MPT decision on Dr Bawa-Garba. This information could include (but not limited to) guidance/memos/emails/letters/faxes/minutes of meetings.
- I realise section 42 will apply to some of this information, but it is only when legal professional privilege exists between yourselves and another party. Relayed advice, or advice from the board/other institutions (such as the PSA) are unlikely to be included under this exemption.

2) Any information received from the Department of Health (or it’s subsequent DHSC entity), including the Secretary of State, about the appeal after the GMC had commenced it.

3) the costs, so far, of appealing this decision to the high court, and subsequently defending an appeal to the court of appeal.

Yours faithfully,

Dr J P Sturgeon

FOI, General Medical Council

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Thank you

 

Information access team

General Medical Council

Email: [GMC request email]

Telephone: 0161 923 6365

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FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Dr Sturgeon

 

Your information request - F18/9666/LG

 

Thank you for your email dated 26 July 2018.

 

How we will consider your request

 

We’re going to consider your request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA). The FOIA gives us 20 working days to respond, but we’ll come
back to you as soon as we can.

 

Who to contact

 

Louise Gormley will be handling your request. If you have any questions
you can call her on 0161 923 6311 or email her at
[1][email address].

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Loredana Cojan

 

Information Access Team  Administrator

[2][email address]

 

0161 240 8189

 

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

 

 

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Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311), General Medical Council

Our reference: F18/9666/LG

 

Dear Dr Sturgeon

 

Thank you for your request dated 26 July 2018, in which you request
information about Dr Bawa-Garba. Your request has been considered in
accordance with the access provisions of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA). Please find below responses to each of your requests:

 

1) The information your chief executive/final responsible officer had when
deciding to appeal the MPT decision on Dr Bawa-Garba.

 

I can’t provide the information you requested because it carries legal
professional privilege, and the following exemption applies:

 

Section 42 of the FOIA is the exemption for information which carries
legal professional privilege. The principle of legal professional
privilege is to safeguard full and frank exchanges between a legal advisor
and their client (legal advice). This exemption is subject to a public
interest test. In this instance I believe that the public interest lies in
maintaining the exemption rather than disclosing the information.

 

2) Any information received from the Department of Health (or it’s
subsequent DHSC entity), including the Secretary of State, about the
appeal after the GMC had commenced it.

 

Under the FOIA there’s an exemption for requests where it would cost the
public authority more than £450 to process - equivalent to two and half
day’s work. 

 

In order to capture this information we would have to ask up to 20 people
to carry out a search of all their contacts with the DHSC since the
commencement of Dr Bawa-Garba’s appeal, this would include meeting notes,
phone calls, emails etc. We have estimated it would take each person
approximately 90 minutes to undertake such a search.

 

Based on an hourly rate of £25 per hour (which is set by the Freedom of
Information [Fees and Appropriate Limit] Regulations 2004) this would cost
us in excess of the ‘appropriate limit’ to process.

 

We do hold a central correspondence log, if you would like to narrow your
request and limit it to just this log, let me know and I will carry out a
search for you.

 

3) The costs, so far, of appealing this decision to the high court, and
subsequently defending an appeal to the court of appeal.

 

I can confirm  that external Counsel’s legal fee for the hearing before
the Medical Practitioners Tribunal was £5,400.  The GMC’s legal fees in
relation to the hearing before the High Court amounted to £11,974.75.

 

The levels of external counsel’s fees incurred by the GMC are in line with
those incurred by other parties, eg. medical defence organisations acting
on behalf of doctors in such proceedings. The use by the GMC of its
in-house legal team to conduct such proceedings ensures that external
legal fees incurred in the conduct of these proceedings is minimised. We
do not record the number of hours the in house legal team spend on
individual cases.

 

We are unable to provide specific figures for the cost of the MPT hearing.
However, the MPTS state that the average daily hearing cost for 2016 was
£4,228. No numbers for 2017 are available until after year end accounts
are complete. The MPT hearing ran for 5 days. The figure includes all
adjudication costs, fees for lay and medical tribunal members, expenses,
staff costs, office costs and ancillary costs.

 

Our costs in relation to the Court of appeal amount to £17,412.

 

I hope the above information is useful.

 

Your right to appeal

 

I am sorry I have been unable to provide all the information you require.
You can appeal against the refusal aspect of this decision to Elizabeth
Hiley, Information Access Manager.  If you want to appeal, please set out
your reasons and email [1][email address]

 

You can also appeal to the Information Commissioner, the regulator of the
FOIA – we can provide more details about this if you need them.

 

Kind regards

 

Louise

 

Louise Gormley

Information Access Officer
Resources and Quality Assurance Directorate
 
Direct Line: 0161 923 6311
Email:        [2][email address]
Website:    [3]www.gmc-uk.org
Address:    Information Access Team
                 General Medical Council
                 3 Hardman Street

                 Manchester

                 M3 3AW

 

 

 

 

Working with doctors Working for patients

The General Medical Council helps to protect patients and improve medical
education and practice in the UK by setting standards for students and
doctors. We support them in achieving (and exceeding) those standards, and
take action when they are not met.

show quoted sections

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