Gathering evidence

Once we’ve received your referral, our Triage team will decide if the concerns need us to open an investigation into the doctor’s fitness to practise. We will sometimes ask for more information before we make this decision.

We won’t normally inform the doctor of the referral until we’ve made a decision to investigate.

What we may need from you

If you've raised a concern with us directly, we may ask you to send us:

  • your internal investigation file, including any RCA reports, PPAS reports, relevant medical records, witness statements
  • patient or next of kin details, so we can let them know that we are looking into the care received by them or their next of kin.

What we will do if we open an investigation

  • We will send the doctor a copy of the concerns raised about them.
  • We will write to each of the employers the doctor tells us about from the last six month and ask them to tell us about any current or previous fitness to practise concerns about the doctor. We may write to you in this capacity if you are not the doctor’s responsible officer.
  • If the concern contains specific clinical concerns we may seek the opinion of an independent expert on the care provided by the doctor.
  • If we think there are individuals who may have information relevant to our investigation, we may ask them to provide a witness statement. If you provide a witness statement and the doctor is referred to a medical practitioner's tribunal, we may ask you to attend.
  • If there are concerns about a doctor's overall performance, we may invite them to attend a performance assessment. This is an assessment of the doctor's professional performance. It is conducted by an independent team of GMC-trained assessors.
  • If we think that a doctor's health may adversely affect their ability to practise safely, we may invite them to attend a health assessment, where two independent doctors examine the doctor under investigation.
  • If there are concerns about a doctor's knowledge of English we may ask them to take an assessment of their English language skills.

At this stage of our investigation, a colleague in our Investigations team will be responsible for the case. They’ll keep you updated at the relevant stages of our investigation.