Don't forget the small print

A junior doctor omitted to read carefully the small print on an application form for a hospital post. Consequently he answered incorrectly when asked about prior cautions and convictions, failing to disclose a previous caution for driving without due care and attention as well as a separate speeding offence.
However the information came to light when the trust undertook Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks prior to his appointment. Although he described the omission as an honest mistake, the trust referred the case to the GMC.

The Outcome

In due course the GMC wrote to the doctor alleging that the reported failure to disclose the two motoring offences was both misleading and unprofessional. The GMC invited him to comment on the allegations and intimated that they were minded to issue a warning. If offered and accepted, such a warning would stay on his GMC registration record for 5 years.
Rather than agree to accept a warning, the doctor opted to have the allegations heard before a public hearing of the GMC's Investigation Committee, with support and legal representation from the MDU. Fortunately, the Committee concluded that the failure to disclose the offences was a careless mistake and that he did not intend to mislead or gain an advantage over other applicants for the post. The Committee formed the view that a warning would not be appropriate in the circumstances and directed that no further action be taken.
The GMC Committee did however advise that in the future he should ensure that he had fully read and understood any document he might be required to sign, and that he act in accordance with paragraph 65 of Good Medical Practice (2006), which states:

"You must do your best to make sure that any documents you write or sign are not false or misleading. This means that you must take reasonable steps to verify the information in the documents, and that you must not deliberately leave out relevant information."

This page was correct at publication on 01/05/2009. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.