Mark Sutton QC and Louise Chudleigh win case regarding classification under MHPS type procedures as between conduct and health:
A decision was handed down by the High Court today (18 March 2014) refusing to grant a doctor a final injunction to restrain an NHS Trust from holding a disciplinary hearing to consider allegations of misconduct. The central issue in the case was whether it was permissible for the Trust to class the allegations as matters of conduct or whether they should have been classified as relating to health and/or a mixture of capability and health. The practitioner was suffering from ill-health at the time when the alleged offences had been committed and the claimant maintained that the conduct was materially influenced by her illness.
This is the first occasion when the High Court has considered this type of classification issue. The Court held that it was not a breach of contract to put the matters to a conduct panel. The Court, having examined each of the allegations, held that they had correctly been regarded as matters of misconduct and were thus appropriately dealt with under the Trust's disciplinary procedures. An application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal was refused.