QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AUTHORITY for HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE
|- and –
|(1) GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL
(2) CHRISTIAN HANSON
The Respondents did not appear and were not represented
Hearing dates: 9 March 2021
Crown Copyright ©
MR JUSTICE CHAMBERLAIN:
The Tribunal's findings
"Dr Hanson's sexually motivated behaviour would have been unacceptable in any working environment. It amounted to sexual harassment. Such conduct falls far below the standard to be expected from a medical practitioner."
Good medical practice and the Sanctions Guidance
"149. This encompasses a wide range of conduct from criminal convictions for sexual assault and sexual abuse of children (including child sex abuse materials) to sexual misconduct with patients, colleagues, patients' relatives or others…
150. Sexual misconduct seriously undermines public trust in the profession. The misconduct is particularly serious where there is an abuse of the special position of trust a doctor occupies, or where a doctor has been required to register as a sex offender. More serious action, such as erasure, is likely to be appropriate in such cases."
"92. Suspension will be an appropriate response to misconduct that is so serious that action must be taken to protect members of the public and maintain public confidence in the profession. A period of suspension will be appropriate for conduct that is serious but falls short of being fundamentally incompatible with continued registration (ie for which erasure is more likely to be the appropriate sanction because the Tribunal considers that the doctor should not practise again either for public safety reasons or to protect the reputation of the profession).
93. Suspension may be appropriate, for example, where there may have been acknowledgement of fault and where the Tribunal is satisfied that the behaviour or incident is unlikely to be repeated. The Tribunal may wish to see evidence that the doctor has taken steps to mitigate their actions (see paragraphs 24–49).
97. Some or all of the following factors being present (this list is not exhaustive) would indicate suspension may be appropriate.
a. A serious breach of Good medical practice, but where the doctor's misconduct is not fundamentally incompatible with their continued registration, therefore complete removal from the medical register would not be in the public interest. However, the breach is serious enough that any sanction lower than a suspension would not be sufficient to protect the public or maintain confidence in doctors.
e. No evidence that demonstrates remediation is unlikely to be successful, e.g. because of previous unsuccessful attempts or a doctor's unwillingness to engage.
f. No evidence of repetition of similar behaviour since incident."
"Any of the following factors being present may indicate erasure is appropriate (this list is not exhaustive).
a. A particularly serious departure from the principles set out in Good medical practice where the behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with being a doctor.
b. A deliberate or reckless disregard for the principles set out in good medical practice and/or patient safety.
c. Doing serious harm to others (patients or otherwise), either deliberately or through incompetence and particularly where there is a continuing risk to patients…
d. Abuse of position/trust (see Good medical practice, paragraph 65: 'You must make sure that your conduct justifies your patients' trust in you and the public's trust in the profession').
j. Persistent lack of insight into the seriousness of their actions or the consequences."
The proper approach on appeal
Submissions for the Appellant