Accepting a Police Caution

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What is a Criminal Conviction?


Accepting a Police Caution (or being convicted of an offence in any country) requires you to let the GMC and NHS England know. ALWAYS take legal advice before doing this.

We would like to remind you of a paragraph of the GMC’s document “Good Medical Practice”, paragraph 75 which states:

You must tell us without delay if, anywhere in the world:

  • you have accepted a caution from the police or been criticised by an official inquiry
  • you have been charged with or found guilty of a criminal offence
  • another professional body has made a finding against your registration as a result of fitness to practise procedures.

If you are suspended by an organisation from a medical post, or have restrictions placed on your practice, you must, without delay, inform any other organisations you carry out medical work for and any patients you see independently

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What is a Criminal Conviction?

A criminal conviction applies to all convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings. This includes minor misdemeanors, such as:

  • Spent sentences, and any matters currently under investigation.
  • Any conviction, caution or investigation in relation to a criminal offence.
  • Road traffic offences (speeding, parking fines) except where the matter has been dealt with by way of a ‘fixed penalty notice’ as such matters do not constitute a criminal conviction.
  • Investigations or determinations by any of the other health regulatory bodies, as well as primary care organisations.

Also, you practice on The National Performer’s List and are therefore also obliged under the Performers List Regulations under these circumstances to notify NHS England.

You must also comply with any reporting requirements of your employing or contracting authority.

This reminder comes as a practitioner accepted a police caution rather than risk a court hearing following a minor domestic dispute with a neighbour. The practitioner was surprised that accepting a police caution resulted in a necessary contact with the GMC.

We would like to remind you of the importance of asking for legal advice should you ever be in this unfortunate situation.

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