Expert evidence beyond competence: Disciplinary outcomes

Pending appeal, a psychiatrist has been suspended from practice for three months by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (UK) after he was found to have acted beyond his competence in preparing an expert report on a paramedic’s fitness to work.

Reported by the Ethics & Health Law News (from a British Medical Journal article), the decision on 13 June 2014 arose from a complaint that the practitioner failed to make clear to the lawyers who retained him that he was not an expert in general adult psychiatry, but rather in the field of learning disability.

Various criticisms were made of his report asserting impairment to practice on the part of another practitioner and his evidence and lack of candour at a hearing.

The complaint was admitted in part and a suspension order made for a short period.



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