Whilst a high proportion of our disciplinary work undertaken relates to healthcare, members have also acted before accountancy, legal, surveyors and police misconduct tribunals. Members frequently appear in parallel proceedings involving criminal prosecutions, inquests and disciplinary inquiries. 5PB also offers considerable expertise in relation to cases involving the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Members have delivered lectures to leading defence insurers and the Pharmacy Law and Ethics Association.
We recognise the particular pressures on professionals facing a disciplinary investigation and Members are often instructed at an early stage to facilitate prompt legal and tactical advice. This is especially important when there are investigations in multiple jurisdictions when the issue of cross admissibility in proceedings will inevitability arise. Clients can expect clear, concise and cost-effective advice and we are acutely aware of the possibility of reputational damage. The high standard of advocacy and analysis associated with 5PB ensures an expeditious approach to the problem presented.
We regularly appear before the Fitness to Practice Committees/Tribunals of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, the General Pharmaceutical Council, the General Dental Council, the Healthcare Professions Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and when necessary before the Administrative Court in statutory appeals and judicial review proceedings.
Members frequently represent Doctors, Pharmacists and NHS trusts at Inquests. Instructions are regularly received on behalf of both National Health Service England and clinicians in respect of proceedings arising out of the pharmaceutical and performer’s lists; both at first instance and on appeal to the First-tier Tribunal and the Administrative Court. Individual members have significant expertise in advising pharmacies in respect of compliance issues.
Members also act for the Care Quality Commission; providing advice and presentation in range of cases often involving the avoidable death of a service user.
Examples of work previously undertaken include:
- Serious sexual allegations;
- Sexual harassment/Bullying
- Fraud/Dishonesty allegations
- Prescribing and dispensing errors, including regular instructions in fatality cases
- Systems/Standard Operating Procedures failures, with regular instructions on behalf of the pharmaceutical multiples
- Misconduct arising outside the workplace
- ‘Safe care and treatment’ failures, particularly in the context of care homes
Our expertise in criminal law has led to an increasing number of instructions in police misconduct proceedings, often with a parallel criminal investigation. Members are familiar with the specialist and sensitive nature of police misconduct allegations and are well equipped to deal with these issues when they arise. Recent instructions have included:
• Sexual Allegations
• Excessive Force
• Dishonesty and Integrity allegations
• Fraud/false expenses claims
• Possession of indecent images
• Computer misuse
• Social media misuse
• Coercive behaviour
• Misconduct arising outside the workplace