Thomas Buxton.

  • Barrister
  • Year of call 1983

“Thomas is extremely knowledgeable in this area… He is a dynamic and fierce advocate and has a very keen eye for detail” - Professional Discipline and Regulatory Law – Leading Juniors (Legal 500 – 2021)

Thomas is a respected and highly accomplished barrister who now specialises exclusively in Professional Discipline, Inquest and Regulatory law. With a strong background in fraud and serious crime at the Criminal Bar, his considerable advocacy experience and case management skills are obvious strengths when appearing before Coroners’ courts and regulatory disciplinary panels.

A well regarded advocate in coronial proceedings and professional regulatory tribunals, particularly in the healthcare sector, Thomas has extensive experience acting for both regulators and registrants who face allegations of professional wrongdoing through misconduct, deficient professional performance or ill-health. He is instructed in complex, sensitive cases on behalf of the Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Midwives and other regulatory bodies, including the General Dental Council, Health and Care Professions Council and Care Quality Commission.

His practice encompasses the most serious cases – ranging from deaths within clinical, mental health and community settings, to allegations of drugs misuse, and physical and/or sexual assaults against patients, colleagues and the public. Thomas is also instructed in one of the largest investigations currently being undertaken by the General Dental Council

Thomas has an effective courtroom manner. He gives sensible, realistic advice in a straightforward and uncompromising manner. He is responsive, tactically astute, calm under pressure and has an ability to connect with clients, clinicians, experts and vulnerable witnesses at all stages of proceedings.

Thomas has provided lectures and training to the Royal College of Nursing, General Dental Council, Office of Road and Rail and to the wider professional regulators via webinar and face to face in his areas of regulatory expertise.

Thomas is qualified to accept instructions from clients through the Direct Access scheme.


Qualifications:
  • LLB (Hons) University of Nottingham


Professional memberships, appointments and affiliations:
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Panel B Regulatory Advocate in Health and Safety and Environmental law

Practice Areas:

Professional discipline

Thomas has a thriving, busy practice appearing in front of a range of regulators.   He has undertaken numerous fitness to practise cases before the General Dental Council, Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal involving matters of health, conduct and competence. He appears in a wide range of serious, high-profile cases involving clinical negligence, patient deaths, sexual misconduct, breach

Regulatory law

Thomas was appointed in 2019 to the HSE List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates. He receives instructions from the Care Quality Commission.

Inquests

Thomas appears regularly as an advocate at inquests, particularly those where Article 2 is engaged involving juries. He is regularly instructed to represent healthcare professionals with interested person status.

Notable cases:

Professional discipline and regulatory law

Professional discipline

GDC v FD
Currently instructed in the early case management and providing advice in connection with the collapse of a corporate entity providing multiple nationwide dental practices, and associated patient complaints.

NMC v CR
Nurse engaged in sexual activity with a male psychiatric patient, facilitating breaches of the terms of his detention. The patient had been convicted of manslaughter. Her conduct was found not to have been sexually motivated after advancing a defence of duress.

NMC v N
A case involving the death of a 10 year old child and complex expert evidence in the field of paediatric gastroenterology. Regulatory proceedings followed the acquittal at the Crown Court of a specialist nurse charged with gross negligence manslaughter.

HCPC v KM
Misconduct allegations following a paramedic’s failure to properly examine a patient and subsequently recognise her deteriorating condition whilst awaiting admission to hospital on board the ambulance. The patient died of sepsis within a few hours of being admitted.

SRA v L
Solicitor facing various allegations of dishonesty, including failing to comply with money laundering legislation and fabrication of a document arising out of the use or permitted use of client account as a banking facility. Dishonesty not made out, but the SDT found failure to act with integrity and diminishing public trust in the profession.

Regulatory law

Sterling Care (UK) Limited v CQC
Resisting an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal by a firm in liquidation managing a failing care home against a Notice of Decision cancelling the Appellant’s registration. Multiple and serial breaches of Health and Social Care Act 2008, (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

Inquests

Inquest touching upon the death of AB
Instructed to represent one of the midwives in one of a number of widely reported cases involving alleged failures at the East Kent University NHS Foundation Trust.

West Sussex Coroner’s Court, re CS
Investigation into the death by hanging of a patient on a secure mental health unit, which included the circumstances and appropriateness of his risk assessment and subsequent observation regime. The deceased had been dead for some time when he was discovered.

Nottinghamshire Coroner’s Court, re KS
Investigation into the death of a patient on a mental health unit, enquiring into adequacy of risk assessment, training, compliance with observation policy and emergency response.

West London Coroner’s Court, re TM
Investigation into a death within an immigration removal centre where the deceased was beaten to death by another inmate suffering from mental health disorder. Scapegoating of nurse whose alleged failures related to checking of the airway, the speed at which oxygen was available and given, and the use of the defibrillator as a monitor. It was established and accepted that the fact some things might have been done differently was not an admission of obvious and serious failings such as to attract the description ‘inadequate’.


Thomas Buxton news.

Regulating Healthcare Professionals - Crucible's Response to Government Consultation.

Claire Robinson

24/06/2021

Grice - The Obligations of the State to Investigate Death.

Thomas Buxton

29/03/2021