Support services for people involved in our fitness to practise procedures

We know that being involved in our fitness to practise procedures can be stressful. In order to minimise this we provide two support services. The Doctor Support Service and Witness Service offer free, confidential emotional support, independent of the General Medical Council (GMC). We hope this will help to reduce stress for everyone involved.

Doctor Support Service

The GMC has commissioned the British Medical Association (BMA) Doctors for Doctors scheme to pilot the provision of emotional support to doctors involved in a fitness to practise case. A 12 month pilot was launched on 14 May 2012, and will provide peer support from fellow doctors via a dedicated telephone line. If the case is referred to a hearing an independent supporter from the service may accompany the doctor for the first two days.

Doctors can self-refer via telephone on 020 7383 6707 or email

Find out more at or on the BMA website at Doctor support service.

Witness Service

Complainants and witnesses giving evidence on behalf of either party involved in a hearing are able to access support from the Witness Service. This is a confidential service run by volunteers from the charity Victim Support. Volunteers can talk to witnesses on the telephone to discuss how they feel about giving evidence and may be able to meet with them in their local community. An independent supporter may also accompany a witness at the hearing while they give evidence. Anyone who feels they would benefit may use the service – access is not restricted to vulnerable witnesses. The exception to this is expert witnesses and people giving evidence as part of their professional role.

To make a referral please telephone 0161 200 1956 or email

You can find out more about the GMC witness support service