A flexible and supportive approach to our fitness to practise work

We know that it continues to be a very challenging time for doctors, patients and employers across the UK. Earlier in the pandemic, we took steps to minimise the impact of our investigations by only requesting information from employers and healthcare professionals where there was an immediate patient safety concern.

After careful consideration and following discussions with stakeholders, we’ve decided to resume existing cases, where we can, from 1 July 2020. We’ll continue to review concerns that are raised with us to protect patient safety, and we’ll start to open new cases where necessary in the coming weeks.

We know that investigations are difficult for everyone involved, but we’re conscious that delaying our decisions any longer could cause additional stress. 

We’ll take this forward in discussion with affected doctors, complainants, medical defence and support organisations, and employers. We’ll be flexible on timescales, as we recognise that different parts of the healthcare system are experiencing the impact of the pandemic in different ways. 

Support for those involved in investigations 

There are a number of services available to help doctors and help patients involved in an investigation. This includes independent advice, as well as support we can offer.  

Our investigation teams are available to speak to anyone involved in a case about their options and how we can help. You can call your named contact or email FPDComplaintsCorresp@gmc-uk.org

Taking the pandemic context into account

In March 2020, we published a joint statement with other health regulators to set out how we’ll regulate during the pandemic. This explains that where a concern is raised about a registered professional, it will always be considered on the specific facts of the case, taking into account the factors relevant to the environment in which the professional is working.