Friday, 4 December 2015

Who Will Guard The Guards?

The British Medical Association (BMA) and the Medical Practitioners Tribunal, are meant to be both the trades union and regulatory body for doctors in the UK. This dual role is not supposed to produce issues, and such is the power that the medical profession holds over the UK's politicians, that this position is rarely challenged. However I suspect that we may see the health department look at this situation again in the near future as the BMA increasingly seems to be self-serving in its handling of complaints against its members

BMA - Courts or Self Policing Future

As evidence of this I cite the case of Dr Manav Arora, a 37 year old doctor who resides in the Birmingham area. Although married and with three children, he obviously had a keen interest in gentleman’s physiques as well. Last month he was jailed for two years at Kings Lynn Crown Court for groping, and performing oral sex, on a male patient while ostensibly fitting a catheter. The offences were committed at Norwich University Hospital .... he was 'banned from working in the medical profession for ten years'.

This despite the fact that in the past, three other patients had reported being sexually assaulted by him in a similar manner. It seems that even sexual predation is not enough to get a doctor banned for life in the UK, by the BMA and the Medical Practitioners Tribunal.

Compare and contrast with the treatment of Mr Laurence Arnold aged 50, of Herne bay Kent. He was a nurse at the local Cedar house Mental health hospital, when he sexually assaulted a female colleague by grabbing her breasts. When challenged about the assault, he claimed to have 'stumbled into her', and then said that in any case she was 'flirting and wearing skimpy clothes.' Strangely he wasn't in the law courts over the matter, but a nursing panel still took it upon themselves to hold a hearing, and find in favour of the female nurse who had complained ..... he was struck off for life.

He been accused of sexually assaulting a female patient in July 2013, but had got away with that claim .... but not a second time.

So a doctor can have a string of allegations of misconduct and a prison sentence for the same offence, but still only get banned from the profession for ten years. However a nurse was given the element of the doubt after one misconduct allegation, but was then banned for life when a second similar allegation was proved three years later.

Being your own policing body is a privilege given to few professions (Religions, Legal and Medical and the most high profile), but this also means having the very highest standards of integrity and duty of care to the public.

The BMA seems far too keen to keep doctors who should be struck off, in the profession; especially if they are from minority cultures (I could cite a string of sexual assaults by Asian doctors over the last few years alone). If they can't be trusted to operate to the very highest standards, then they should lose the ability to police their own profession.

Who Watches The Watchmen?

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?


  1. That's a great movie, The Watchmen.

    Self policing never works and I've always understood that the BMA is a club for doctors which looks after its own. Over the years I've heard so many stories of complaints about doctors falling on deaf ears, or of them relocating like Catholic priests.

  2. With power comes privilege. The self policing was the price paid to set up the NHS in 1948.


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