Ivan Hare successfully represents GMC in lifting BMA injunction on industrial action advice
On Tuesday 3 November 2015, the British Medical Association (BMA) obtained an injunction to restrain the General Medical Council (GMC) from publishing advice on the GMC’s website about the responsibilities of doctors in the event of industrial action in response to the Department of Health’s proposals for new junior doctors’ contracts. The BMA’s postal ballot of its members on industrial action was due to commence on 6 November 2015. The BMA argued that the GMC’s advice went beyond what was contained in the GMC’s publication “Good Medical Practice” and over-stated the extent of doctors’ (as opposed to hospitals’) on-going obligations to their patients. The BMA also argued that the GMC was seeking to dissuade doctors from voting in favour of industrial action and was therefore exceeding its powers in attempting to influence a matter of industrial relations. The GMC appeared before Wilkie J first thing on Wednesday morning to oppose the continuation of the injunction and successfully had the injunction lifted. Wilkie J found that the GMC’s advice did not go beyond what was set out in “Good Medical Practice” and made clear that it was not provided with the intention of influencing doctors’ votes in any way. The GMC was also awarded its costs.
The matter was reported at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11976104/BMA-tried-to-gag-regulator-from-issuing-strike-advice.html
Ivan Hare appeared for the GMC.