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First High Court judgment handed down

GMC Statement

26 May 2017

Today the High Court handed down judgment in the case of General Medical Council v Jagjivan.

This was the first such case to be heard since the GMC gained the right to appeal decisions made by Medical Practitioners Tribunals in December 2015, after years of campaigning for reforms to the Medical Act. The GMC’s appeal was upheld by the court.

Charlie Massey, the Chief Executive of the General Medical Council, commented on the judgment:

‘This decision by the High Court is an important landmark. In the first ever exercise of our right of appeal we have succeeded in overturning a decision which we thought did not give enough protection to patients and the public.

‘The court agreed with us that the tribunal’s failure to find that the doctor’s actions were sexually motivated was “wrong and unsustainable.” They quashed that finding and substituted it with a finding of sexual motivation. The case will now be reconsidered at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service so that action can be taken to protect patients in light of these serious findings against the doctor.

‘This judgment is an endorsement of the important changes made to the Medical Act, and illustrates how the reforms have further enhanced the our ability to protect patients from the relatively small number of doctors whose conduct fails to meet the standards which the public are entitled to expect.’

Notes to editors

Dr Nilesh Jagjivan was found not impaired at a hearing at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in May 2016, after being referred by the GMC.

The allegation was that the doctor did not preserve a female patient’s dignity and privacy as she remained partially undressed during the 45 minute consultation, and that he had made a number of inappropriate comments of a sexual nature.

The GMC had submitted that the doctor’s actions were sexually motivated. The tribunal panel concluded that it could not be proved that his behaviour was sexually motivated, which led them to make a finding of no impairment. The GMC subsequently submitted an appeal against this decision – which has now been upheld.

The General Medical Council (GMC) is an independent organisation that helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice across the UK.

  • We decide which doctors are qualified to work here and we oversee UK medical education and training.
  • We set the standards that doctors need to follow, and make sure that they continue to meet these standards throughout their careers.
  • We take action when we believe a doctor may be putting the safety of patients, or the public's confidence in doctors, at risk.

We are not here to protect doctors - their interests are protected by others. Our job is to protect the public.

We are independent of government and the medical profession and accountable to Parliament. Our powers are given to us by Parliament through the Medical Act 1983.

We are a registered charity (number 1089278 with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and number SC037750 with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator), we have to show that our aims are for public benefit.

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