Opening an investigation
If we decide to investigate a concern raised about you or your practice this doesn't mean we've reached any kind of decision. Many of our investigations end with no action and only the most serious concerns end in suspension or erasure from the medical register.
What you need to do
Before we begin our investigation, we'll tell you about the concern we have received.
At this point, you should:
- give us any comments you have on the concern raised (unless you have referred yourself). Getting key information early can help us close our investigations more quickly
- send us your employment details when we ask for them – to make sure we disclose to the right organisations
- contact your medical defence organisation for legal advice straight away. They know our processes and will be able to help you. If you're not a member of a defence organisation, you should get advice from any professional organisations of which you are a member, such as the British Medical Association
- think about getting emotional support or advice. Even if your investigation ends in no action, we know it can be a stressful time.
Good medical practice obliges you to engage with us. But it's also in your interests to do so – we may be able to conclude our investigation sooner if you do engage with us.
What we will do
At the beginning of the investigation, we’ll:
- write to your employers to see if they have any information that might help us with our investigation
- consider whether the concerns about you mean your practice should be restricted or suspended immediately. In these cases, we'll refer you to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) for an interim orders tribunal hearing
- If the concerns received relate to convictions, cautions or decisions by another regulatory body, we'll refer you directly to a medical practitioners tribunal at the MPTS. But we won't do this for less serious convictions, such as parking offences.