Your role in monitoring a doctor’s restrictions

All doctors who have agreed undertakings with us, or have had conditions or suspension imposed by an MPTS tribunal, are monitored by our Case Review team. The team monitor a doctor’s compliance with any restrictions on their registration and, as the doctor’s responsible officer, you also have a responsibility to help monitor these restrictions.

What we need from you

We’ll need your input to make sure a doctor can comply with conditions or undertakings.

  1. If you’re the doctor’s responsible officer, we’ll ask you to nominate or approve a workplace reporter.
  2. We may also need you to nominate a clinical supervisor, educational supervisor and a mentor.
  3. If the doctor needs a clinical supervisor, you’ll need to make sure the right level of supervision is in place, dependent on the undertakings or conditions. There are three different levels:
    1. Supervision. Whoever carries out the active supervision of clinical work may be off site at a particular time but must be available to give advice and/or assistance (eg by phone).
    2. Close Supervision. Whoever carries out the active supervision of clinical work must be on site and available to the supervised doctor at all times.
    3. Direct supervision. The doctor must be directly supervised. This means that any activity that involves patient contact such as consultations, examinations and procedures must be supervised in person at all times
  4. We may ask you to approve a doctor carrying out on-call, out of hours and locum work. We may also need your agreement to specific prescribing arrangements.
  5. If the restrictions require the doctor to have a Personal Development Plan (PDP) you should work with them to devise this. We will write to you every six months for updates about the doctor’s progress against achieving the aims of their PDPs.
  6. If you have any concerns about the doctor, you should raise them with your GMC contact – either the investigation officer or your employer liaison adviser (ELA).

What you can expect from us

We collate information from a number of sources, depending on the doctor’s restrictions. These could include workplace reports, clinical supervision reports, educational supervisor reports, mentor updates, health assessment reports, occupational health reports and more. We request updates from all sources of information at least every six months.

We review the information we receive to check that a doctor is complying with the restrictions. If we believe a doctor has breached their restrictions, or if a doctor’s health deteriorates, we will take steps to ensure the safety of the public and the doctor themselves. This could mean referring the doctor to an interim orders tribunal if we need to change restrictions immediately.

If we receive information that raises concerns about the doctor’s practice, we’ll share this with you and ask for your comments. However, we won’t share details of a doctor’s health with you.

If we think a doctor’s restrictions should be tightened or relaxed:

  • For undertakings, we can make these decisions with agreement from the doctor.
  • For conditions, the planned MPTS review hearing must consider any changes. If we need to change conditions earlier than planned, we can request an early review hearing.

We’ll keep you informed of any changes to a doctor’s restrictions – including if we think they should be removed.