Medical Practitioners Act 2007


Complaints to Preliminary Proceedings Committee concerning registered medical practitioners

Complaints concerning registered medical practitioners.

57.— (1) A person (including the Council) may make a complaint to the Preliminary Proceedings Committee concerning a registered medical practitioner on one or more than one of the grounds of—

(a) professional misconduct,

(b) poor professional performance,

(c) a relevant medical disability,

(d) a failure to comply with a relevant condition,

(e) a failure to comply with an undertaking or to take any action specified in a consent given in response to a request under section 67 (1),

(f) a contravention of a provision of this Act (including a provision of any regulations or rules made under this Act), or

(g) a conviction in the State for an offence triable on indictment or a conviction outside the State for an offence consisting of acts or omissions that, if done or made in the State, would constitute an offence triable on indictment.

(2) A complaint may be made on the grounds of professional misconduct or poor professional performance notwithstanding that the matter to which the complaint relates occurred outside the State.

(3) The Preliminary Proceedings Committee shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that—

(a) the complainant is kept informed of all decisions made under this Part and, if applicable, Parts 8 and 9 by the Committee, any other committee, or the Council, in relation to the complaint concerned,

(b) the Committee acts expeditiously, and

(c) complaints are processed in a timely manner.

(4) The Preliminary Proceedings Committee may use the services of a person appointed under section 58 in relation to the investigation of a complaint.

(5) Where a complaint falls within subsection (1)(g), the Preliminary Proceedings Committee shall immediately refer the complaint to the Council.

(6) The Council shall consider a complaint referred to it under subsection (5) and—

(a) if it is of the opinion that—

(i) the nature of the offence that is the subject of the complaint or the circumstances in which the offence was committed render the practitioner permanently unfit to continue to practise medicine, and

(ii) it is in the public interest that it take action immediately under this paragraph,

the Council shall decide under section 71 to impose on the practitioner the sanction referred to in section 71 (f) as if the complaint were a report referred to in section 69 (1) of the Fitness to Practise Committee in relation to the complaint, and the other provisions of Part 9 (except section 72 (2)) shall apply to that decision accordingly,

(b) in any other case, shall refer the complaint back to the Preliminary Proceedings Committee and direct the Committee to deal with the complaint as if the complaint had never been so referred.

(7) Nothing in subsection (6) shall be construed to—

(a) prejudice the generality of section 60 , or

(b) limit the range of the sanctions which the Council may decide to impose under section 71 on a registered medical practitioner in any case where the Council has taken the action referred to in subsection (6)(b).

(8) The Preliminary Proceedings Committee shall refuse to consider or further consider a complaint in respect of a matter which occurred before the commencement of section 3 if the matter was the subject of an application under section 45 of the Act of 1978.

(9) A complaint is a protected disclosure under the Health Act 2004 (as amended by the Health Act 2007).