The MPTS will suspend a doctor in serious cases where fitness to practise has been impaired and it is compelled to signal the degree of seriousness by so significant a sanction.

The MPTS openly acknowledge in their sanctions guidance that suspension is punitive because it prevents a doctor from working during the time of the sanction is in operation. Pursuant to the Medical Act 1983 the MPTS are permitted to order suspension for up to 12 months. They have a discretion in whether the suspension should be imposed immediately.

The length of the suspension will depend on factors including the extent to which there is a risk to the public, the seriousness of the findings and allowing sufficient time to remediate. Where suspension is in prospect as a sanction it is crucial that all feasible mitigating arguments are put forward, and any aggravating factors that can be contested are contested, to minimise and reduce the length of any suspension.

We can give you full early advice on steps you can take before any hearing which can be helpful in lessening the duration of any potential future sanction.

Where suspension is imposed it is very common for a review hearing to be listed before the end of the period of the suspension. The Tribunal will have intended that in the period of the suspension you will have remediated or taken such action as necessary to address the impairment giving rise to the sanction. Full reasons will have been provided by the Tribunal as to why they believed suspension was necessary.