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  6. Analysis of cases where doctors were erased or suspended from the medical register

Analysis of doctors erased or suspended 

What were the key findings?

  • The majority of cases where doctors were erased or suspended from the register in 2014 related to an incident in the doctor’s working life (103 cases), but there were also some cases relating to doctors’ personal lives (16 cases).

  • The most common type of case was dishonesty, either in order to obtain or keep their job or in the role of a doctor, followed by inappropriate relations with patients or colleagues, and clinical issues.

  • The most common type of case in relation to a doctor’s personal life were sexual issues, and there were also a small number of cases involving drink driving offences, dishonesty and violence.

  • Employers were the most common source of complaints leading to a case resulting in erasure or suspension.

  • It was relatively rare in these cases for the doctor to show insight and show the issue which was the cause of the complaint had been remedied, but when this did happen, there are indications that in doing so the final outcome is more likely to result in suspension than erasure.

  • Male doctors, doctors aged over 49 and doctors of black and minority ethnic origin were more likely to feature in these cases. These demographic groups are over-represented in comparison to all licensed doctors on the register and are also more likely to be complained about.

  • The cases were more likely to involve doctors that qualified outside of the UK than doctors that qualified in the UK.

Why did we commission this research?

The aim of the research was to identify the types of cases that resulted in erasure or suspension from the medical register in 2014 and to produce short vignettes to illustrate the main themes.

What did the research involve?

The research was mainly qualitative and involved reviewing the public determination for all erasure and suspension cases in 2014, excluding health cases and interim order panel decisions. A second stage analysed quantitative data on the cases. Vignettes were then produced to illustrate the main types of cases.

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Analysis of cases where doctors were erased or suspended from the medical register full report