Research commissioned by the Professional Standards Authority, found that whilst “only a minority of health care professionals go through fitness to practise (FtP) procedures” evidence shows certain “demographics and professions are over-represented in complaints”.  The demographic and professions that are most over-represented were found to be male, older, overseas-trained, doctors, dentists, chiropractors, social workers and paramedics. 

The research further concluded that over-representation of certain groups in referrals “is linked to country of origin or ethnicity (i.e. BAME) or language proficiency” of the professionals.

Common complaints

The research included a review of evidence and cases from all of the UK’s health and care regulators.  It found from this work that the main complaints commonly related to:

  • clinical care (for example, errors in treatment);
  • Unprofessional conduct; or
  • poor communication.

The proportion of these complaints change according to different professions.  The research confirmed that misconduct can have an individual as well as social and environmental (workplace) dimension and that environmental factors played an important role in cases of misconducts including stressful and competitive work environments and work culture of blame rather than learning. 

We’re specialist health and care defence barristers and consultants with an excellent track record of success.  If you are facing fitness to practise proceedings or an investigation, speak to an expert legal advisor today for a free, no obligation case assessment.

Stephen McCaffrey

I am a GMC Defence Barrister who has represented large number of medical professionals before their regulatory bodies in either first instance proceedings or appeals.  I can help with all matters relating to GMC Fitness to Practise Referrals issues including:

  • GMC fitness to practise referrals
  • GMC fitness to practise hearings
  • Appeals against a MPTS Tribunal determination
  • MPTS Interim Order hearings
  • Appeals against a MPTS Interim Orders Tribunal determination
  • Preparing your case before the Case Examiners
  • Help with the decision of the Case Examiners
  • Help with voluntary removal
  • Registration advice
  • Appeal against refusal of registration
  • Restoration to the Register
  • Investigation and disciplinary hearings at work
  • Criminal investigation and proceedings
  • Police cautions
  • DBS [Disclosure and Barring Service] issues


We are expert GMC Defence Barristers

Speak to an expert GMC Defence Barrister for expert legal advice and help.