What to tell us when you apply guide

FtP question 6: Malpractice and negligence claims

This page will help you answer fitness to practise question 6 on your application.

Have you had a medical malpractice or negligence claim made against you that was settled out of court or upheld?

If the claim is still ongoing answer ‘yes’.

What you need to tell us

You need to tell us if a medical malpractice or negligence claim has been made against you and if it was settled out of court or upheld. You also need to tell us if a claim is still ongoing.

What does ‘medical malpractice or negligence’ mean?

It means that someone made a claim in a civil court that says you, on your own or as part of a medical team caused harm to a patient, examples include:

  • giving substandard treatment or misdiagnosing a patient
  • causing injury to a patient or making an existing condition worse
  • giving incorrect or inappropriate treatment
  • making mistakes during surgery.

If you are a dually qualified doctor and other healthcare professional, for example a dentist, you need to tell us if a claim has been made against you about your other healthcare work.

You also need to tell us if a claim has been made against you relating to any private or independent medical practice in the UK.

What does ‘settled out of court’ mean?

It means you, or an organisation on your behalf, accepted a claim someone made about you. Usually this means that you, or an organisation on your behalf, gave compensation to the patient, a family member or their legal representatives outside of court.

What does ‘upheld’ mean?

It means a court agreed with a claim someone made against you, or an organisation you worked for, that said you committed medical malpractice or were negligent.

What you don't need to tell us

You don’t need to tell us about claims made against you which are being dealt with under a clinical negligence scheme for NHS or HSC trusts and GPs in the UK (for example CNST and CNSGP).

What to do if you need to tell us

If a claim against you was upheld or settled out of court, answer yes to fitness to practise question 6 on your application and give the following details:

  • brief information of the concerns raised about your practice
  • if you accepted the claim or disputed it
  • if you were named in a claim against a healthcare organisation. Provide brief details of the concerns made about your individual practice
  • if the claim was settled out of court, details of the settlement including what compensation was given.

If the claim is on-going provide:

  • information about the current status of the claim
  • contact details of the court considering the claim including name of the court, any reference number and contact details (email and phone)
  • details of any evidence (verbally or written) you are expected to provide and when, including any court hearing dates.

It would be helpful if you could gather the additional information listed below. We may need to request this as part of our enquiries after we review your application. We don’t need you to provide this information when you submit your application:

  • any court documents including claim forms or judgements
  • any submissions, statements or a summary of the oral evidence you made to the court and the person who brought the claim or their legal representatives. This includes claims made directly against you or a claim in which you were named.

I’m still not sure whether I need to tell you about malpractice and negligence claims. What should I do?

Use our What to tell us when you apply tool to help you decide whether to tell us about medical malpractice or negligence claims. If you’ve used the tool and you’re still not sure get in touch with one of our advisers.