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General Practitioners & Primary Care Networks

GP regulatory and GDPR

Our expert team understands the political landscape within which you work and can help you meet your professional, legal and regulatory obligations. If you do find yourself being investigated by the police, GMC, CQC or ICO in relation to data and regulatory breaches, we can represent you.

It is one of the most stressful experiences for a GP to be reported to their regulator as the GMC have the ability to effectively end a career. At DR Solicitors we have extensive expertise in representing medical professionals who find themselves under fitness to practise investigations by the GMC. All our lawyers deal sensitively with all manner of complaints including conduct, competence and health cases.  We always aim to have any GMC investigation or complaint closed as soon as possible and without going to a final hearing, but when it does and if the outcome is not the desired one, then we can assist with an appeal. We can also advise on getting back into practise in the event of suspension or removal from the GMC register.

DR Solicitors can help you with keeping your CQC registration up to date, or in challenging a CQC report and responding to an enforcement notice.

GDPR, data protection, freedom of information, cyber-security – these buzz words aren’t going away. In fact, there is an ever increasing risk to a practice for failure to comply with the associated regulations and legislation, which in themselves are something of a moving target.  We have a specialist team of solicitors who can help you navigate the GDPR, advise on best practice and prevention, and for when things don’t go according to plan, on how to put things right and damage limitation.

Here are some of the ways we have helped GP practices:

  • challenging CQC decisions
  • representation at MPTS hearings
  • appealing against Fitness to Practice decisions
  • assisting with GMC registration applications
  • responding to data subject access requests
  • advising on GDPR and data protection
  • dealing with breach & remedial notices from NHSE
  • supporting LMCs in negotiations with NHSE


  • What to do if you receive a Data Subject Access Request
  • Very few GP practices have the time or resource to respond to a DSAR with 100% confidence and with the use of DSARs as a litigation weapon increasing, it is important that you have robust, formal procedures in place to ensure:

    1. that all staff in the practice can recognise a DSAR
    2. that all data search, collation, redaction and removal processes are GDPR compliant
    3. that DPA exemptions are correctly applied
    4. all non-disclosable information is withheld
    5. any consents to disclosure are valid
    6. timeframes are strictly adhered to

    If in any doubt, seek specialist legal advice.

  • I am being investigated by the GMC. Will I have to attend a hearing?
  • No, not necessarily, in fact most cases are closed at the written stage of the process. If you are being investigated by the GMC our lawyers will draft detailed submissions in tandem with you to try and dispose of the case at what is known as the Rule 7 stage.  At this stage a GP can potentially convince the GMC to discontinue the case against them. We can also obtain expert opinion should that be thought helpful.  Should matters proceed to a hearing then that is heard by a body called the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, or MPTS, which is independent to the GMC.


  • What powers does the MPTS have at a final hearing?
  • The MPTS has a variety of disposals available to it. Firstly they can do nothing at all if they find that GP’s fitness to practise is not impaired. They can issue a warning which will remain on the doctor’s registration for two years and is visible on the GMC website. They can put conditions on a GP’s registration and finally the MPTS can suspend a GP or erase their name from the medical register.  There is no award of costs in the process so costs cannot be awarded against the GP by the GMC or MPTS.

  • What does the GMC/MPTS consider important when deciding a case?
  • Although it may not feel like it, the GMC or MPTS are not out to ‘get’ GPs, but rather to protect the public and uphold the standards of the profession. Both bodies put great store in a GP showing insight and reflection. Often the best course of action can simply be to hold one’s hands up if there have been unarguable errors. With good insight, most issues are capable of being remedied and the GP can remain in practise, even in those cases involving fatal outcomes caused by a GP’s error. Some cases are more difficult to remediate, such as those involving dishonesty or sexual allegations.


Key Contacts

Beth Lyon

Beth Lyon