Reducing stress for doctors going through investigations

In 2015 we appointed Professor Louis Appleby from the University of Manchester as an independent expert to advise us on how to reduce the impact and stress of a fitness to practise investigation.

This followed an independent review we had previously commissioned to look at cases where doctors died from suicide while under our investigations between 2005 (when we introduced electronic data systems) and 2013.

Professor Appleby worked closely with our policy teams to review every stage of the investigation process and identify what changes we could make. We have now implemented those proposals.

The changes include:

  • making sure we only carry out a formal investigation where necessary
  • coordinating our approach so doctors under investigation have a single point of contact throughout the process
  • improving how we communicate across the whole GMC with such doctors
  • establishing a specialist team to handle cases where doctors are unwell, with a process to pause an investigation to allow a very unwell doctor to get treatment.

Read our report on ways we have reduced the impact of our investigation process on doctors

Read other updates on this work: