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New doctors tribunal head appointed

David Pearl to lead Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service

Adrian O'Dowd

Friday, 09 December 2011

The man who will head up the new Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) that will manage all fitness to practise hearings for doctors from next year has been announced as His Honour Judge David Pearl.

Mr Pearl is to be MPTS chair when the service begins operating in the summer of 2012.

Setting up the MPTS is a key part of the General Medical Council's (GMC) plan to reform its adjudication work following the government’s decision not to proceed with the establishment of the Office of the Healthcare Professions Adjudicator.

This change is intended to introduce a larger separation between the GMC’s investigation work and fitness to practise hearings.

In his new role, Mr Pearl will be responsible for appointing, training, appraising and mentoring panel members. He will report directly to parliament on an annual basis.

Mr Pearl began his career in academia as a law lecturer at the University of Cambridge and he subsequently became professor of law and dean of the School of Law at the University of East Anglia before becoming a circuit judge in 1994.

Since then, he has held a range of very senior judicial appointments including the president of the care standards tribunal.

Mr Pearl said: “The establishment of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service is an important part of the GMC’s modernisation of the adjudication of doctors’ fitness to practise.

“I am looking forward to establishing this new service and providing further public confidence in this process, ensuring the full separation of the investigatory role of the GMC and the adjudicatory role of the MPTS.’

Mr Pearl will take up his new post at the start of February 2012.

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