Professional sanctions statistics

Mr M. B. Smith made this Freedom of Information request to General Medical Council

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The request was successful.

Dear General Medical Council,

I understand that the General Medical Council has responsibility for ensuring that proper standards are met by doctors, and that the GMC has the power to impose sanctions upon doctors who breach professional standards or are otherwise unfit to continue in their duties.

1. What range of sanctions can the GMC impose on persons whom it regulates?

2. When investigating allegations which could result in a sanction being imposed against an individual, what standard of proof does the GMC require?
(e.g. civil standard/balance of probabilities; criminal standard/beyond all reasonable doubt; other)

3. For the most recent year for which information is available:

a. How many people were subject to the GMC’s oversight during that year (i.e. how many people does it regulate)?

b. How many investigations were made or cases brought by the GMC against people it regulates during that year?

c. In how many cases during that year were sanctions imposed?

d. In how many cases during that year was it considered that a sanction would have been imposed had the standard of proof required been lower?

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours faithfully

Mr M. B. Smith

FOI, General Medical Council

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FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Mr M. B. Smith,


Your information request – F17/9029/EH

Thank you for your email dated 2^nd August 2017.


How we will consider your request


You’ve asked that we look at 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


Elizabeth Hiley will be handling your request. If you have any questions
you can call her on 0161 923 6314 or email her at
[1][email address].


Yours sincerely




Natasha Whittaker

Information Access Assistant

[2][email address]

0161 240 8178

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street


M3 3AW


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Elizabeth Hiley (0161 923 6314), General Medical Council

Dear Mr Smith

Thank you for your email.

It is the responsibility of medical practitioners tribunals to decide whether a doctor's fitness to practise is impaired and whether a sanction should be imposed on their registration. Information about the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service is available here:

1. The range of sanctions available to a tribunal if a doctor's fitness to practise is found to be impaired is available on the MPTS website via this link (please see 'the tribunal's decision'): In short, these are to take no action, accept undertakings, or place conditions on, suspend or erase the doctor's registration. Warnings may also be issued where the doctor's fitness to practise is not impaired but where there is evidence that they should reflect on how they meet professional standards.

2. Information on the standard of proof and the tribunal's judgement is available here: Where the tribunal makes a finding on disputed facts, it applies the civil standard of proof.

3. We produce an annual report on the state of medical education and practice in the UK (SOMEP). The most recent report was published in 2016 and provides data for the calendar year 2015. It is available at I should also add that the comprehensive data tables that inform the report are available via the above link.

a. Data regarding the number of doctors on the UK medical register in 2015 is available in chapter one of SOMEP: You may also be interested in the statistics we publish about registered doctors at

b. Chapter three of SOMEP provides information on the number of complaints received in 2015 and the number that were subsequently investigated (please see pages 60 - 61 of the report):

c. In relation to the number of sanctions imposed on complaints received in 2015 this information is also available via the above link. Further information about the number of sanctions imposed in relation to cases closed from 2011 to 2015 is available at page 65 of the report:

d. I must confirm that we do not hold this information.

I hope this information is useful to you. If you have any queries about this request please contact me.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Hiley
Information Access Officer
General Medical Council

Telephone: 0161 923 6314
Email: [email address]

Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for your detailed response.

Yours sincerely,

Mr M. B. Smith

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