Will we investigate?

When we will investigate

If a concern suggests a doctor's practice should be restricted or stopped, we will open an investigation. Examples of these types of concerns include, but are not limited to:

  • serious or repeated mistakes in patient care
  • failure to respond reasonably to patient needs (eg not referring for further investigations where necessary)
  • violence, sexual assault or indecency
  • fraud or dishonesty
  • a serious criminal offence
  • abuse of professional position (eg an improper sexual relationship with a patient)
  • discrimination against patients, colleagues or others
  • harassment or bullying of colleagues, patients or others
  • serious breaches of patient confidentiality
  • serious concerns about knowledge of English.

If we aren't sure about investigating

If we can’t make a decision based on the information you provide, we sometimes ask a doctor’s employer to let us know if they have any concerns which might shed light on the situation you've raised. The information they give us helps us decide whether to investigate.

If we do this, we’ll let you know.

Why we might not investigate

If a concern doesn't suggest a doctor's practice should be restricted, we won't investigate. Like everyone else, doctors can make mistakes at work and we're not here to punish them.

Making a mistake doesn’t necessarily mean a doctor shouldn't be able to work in the UK. When we look at a concern we consider how serious it was, whether it was a one-off event, how much the doctor has reflected on what happened and what they've done since to learn from the mistake.