A retrospective analysis of the GDC's performance against its newly-approved fitness to practise guidance
Gallagher, C. T.
De Souza, A. I.
Objectives: To assess if the GDC considers relevant factors at all stages of its deliberations into misconduct, as required by the determinations in the cases of Cohen, Zygmunt, and Azzam; and to assess whether those circumstances described in the Indicative Sanctions Guidance as warranting erasure from GDC registers led to that outcome.Design Retrospective analysis of practise committee transcripts. Materials and Methods: The consideration of specific factors in determining impairment of fitness to practise was compared with their subsequent consideration when determining the severity of sanction. Additionally, cases that highlighted aggravating circumstances deemed as serious enough to warrant erasure were monitored. Pearson's ? test was used to detect any variation from the expected distribution of data.Results: Sixty-six cases met with the inclusion criteria. Of the five factors considered, all but one was more likely to be heard when determining sanction having first been factored in to the consideration of impairment. Additionally, there was a statistically significant correlation between the aggravating factors and erasure from the registers.Conclusions The GDC do, in general, consider relevant factors at all stages of their deliberations into practitioner misconduct, and act in a manner that is consistent with their own guidance when determining sanction.