11. The Medical Sciences Board (‘the board’) shall appoint a committee of three to consider the investigator’s report and adjudicate the case. The committee shall include one medically qualified person nominated by the board; one person nominated by the student, this person to be a medically qualified member of the Faculty of Clinical Medicine; and, in the chair, one senior member of staff from another faculty agreed between the board and the student or, if no agreement is reached, decided by the Proctors. No member of the committee shall have had any involvement or interest in the case or be a current teacher of the student.
12. The student will be required to attend the meeting of the committee in person and will be given not less than four working days’ notice of the date and time of the meeting. If the student fails to attend without reasonable explanation, the committee will consider the case in the student’s absence. The chairman shall have discretion as to what constitutes a ‘reasonable explanation’. Members of the University who may have information relevant to the case may be required by the chairman to attend the meeting to give evidence. At the discretion of the chairman, the committee may also call upon other persons (whether or not a current member of the University) to provide advice on specific aspects of the case in writing or in person. The student may choose to be accompanied by a friend, relative, student representative or, where suspension or termination of the student’s medical studies is being considered, including termination on completion of their Honour School examinations, by a lawyer (‘the friend’). The meeting will be held in public unless the student wishes it to be held in private or the chairman considers that this is in the best interests of the student or a patient. All evidence or material submitted as part of the investigation will be regarded as strictly confidential, unless, following consideration of submissions, the committee decides otherwise.
13. The following points shall serve as a guide to the conduct of the meeting. They may be varied at the discretion of the chairman, for example if he or she considers that the matter may most effectively be resolved informally.
(1) Prior to the meeting the Secretary to the committee will ensure that the student has copies of all documents circulated to members of the committee and is aware of the proceedings to be followed.
(2) The student, the friend (if attending) and any members of staff required to attend under regulation 12 will then join the meeting.
(3) The chairman will introduce by name and explain the functions of the members of the committee, the staff and any others present. The chairman will explain the powers of the committee and will invite the Head of Division (or his or her nominee) to make an opening statement and then invite the committee to ask questions. Other staff attending will be offered the same opportunity to make a statement and may be asked questions. The chairman will invite the student or the friend to make a statement. The chairman will explain that the committee will wish to hear directly from the student in his or her own words. Members of the committee will be invited to question the student. The chairman will invite any other persons called upon by the chairman to attend the meeting to make a brief statement and will then invite the committee to ask questions. At each stage the chairman has discretion to allow reciprocal questioning by the various parties.
(4) Once the chairman is satisfied that the committee has completed its questioning and the student and staff have had a full opportunity to convey information to the committee, both the student and the members of staff will withdraw. The committee will then discuss the case. If for any reason the committee requires further clarification of any aspect of the case from either student or staff members they must all be invited back into the meeting while the questioning takes place. When the chairman so determines, they will leave the meeting again.
(5) The Chairman shall have discretion to adjourn the proceedings.
(6) The committee will make its decision. The decision and any findings of fact will be communicated to the student and the other parties (including the student’s college, the Director of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education and the Director of Clinical Studies) as soon as possible. The outcome of the hearing will be published but the reasons for it will be regarded as confidential between the University, the student and the relevant regulatory bodies.
14. If at any stage in the proceedings it should become apparent that the student’s alleged problems are caused by ill health, the fitness to practise procedures shall be stopped and the procedures set out in Part B of Statute XIII shall be invoked.
15. Any investigation into, or disciplinary proceedings relating to the conduct of the student cannot commence, or must be adjourned, pending the finding of the procedures under 14. Until the Proctors shall have had the time to consider any case of medical student ill health referred to them, the Director of Clinical Studies shall have the power to suspend the student from the Register of Clinical Students and hence from the clinical course. A student may appeal to the Proctors against such suspension.
16. Where the student is not found to be suffering from ill health, the matter may be referred back to the Proctors or the Head of Division, as the case may be, who may commence, or re-instate, the investigatory or disciplinary proceedings relating to the conduct of the student as referred to above.
17. Whilst the determination of the student’s fitness to practise is a matter for the committee appointed under regulation 11, it will take into account any findings under regulation 14.