Investigating and acting on concerns about doctors

As in all aspects of life, sometimes things can go wrong, and there may be concerns about a doctor’s behaviour, or the way they do their job.

In many instances, we're not the best place to raise your concern. But if a concern means a doctor could pose a risk to patients or to public confidence in doctors, it should be raised with us.

From the information we’re given, we assess whether we need to investigate. If we do, we collect and review evidence. This might include witness statements and expert reports. After the investigation we decide if we need to take action, such as giving the doctor advice or a warning. In some cases we may agree they need to retrain or work under supervision. 

In other situations we will refer the case to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), a tribunal of doctors and lay members who will make an independent decision about the case. If the tribunal finds the doctor is a risk to the safety of patients or to public confidence in doctors, they can suspend the doctor’s right to work or restrict the doctor’s practice, for example by requiring the doctor to work under supervision or undergo further training.

In a few very serious cases a doctor may be removed from the medical register, more commonly referred to as being 'struck off'. This means they can no longer work as a doctor in the UK.

Read more about our role in investigating and acting on concerns about doctors.

Read our Charter for patients, relatives and carers