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How To Report A Negligent Doctor

By Lewis Cobain. Last Updated 13th June 2024. In this online guide, we look at how to report a negligent doctor, and also how to make a compensation claim if a doctor has harmed you through medical negligence. Please note though, that if you have used a personal injury solicitor to make a personal injury claim in the past, even though the process of making a clinical negligence claim seems similar, it is subtly different. Please read this guide carefully to learn what these differences are.

A negligent doctor at a desk with two other doctors.

Every claim has its own unique set of circumstances. And although we have tried to cover as much as we can in this guide, there may be questions that this guide doesn’t answer for you. In this case, our claims team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0800 073 8804. One of our expert advisors will answer your questions for you and then explain how we can provide you with a solicitor to work on your claim for you.

Select A Section:

  1. How To Report a Negligent Doctor To The General Medical Council
  2. When And How The GMC Investigates Reports Of Negligence By Doctors
  3. What Steps Could The GMC Take Against A Negligent Doctor?
  4. How To Report A Negligent Doctor To The NHS
  5. How To Report A Negligent Doctor To The NHS Ombudsman
  6. Victim Support And Patient Liaison
  7. No Win No Fee Claims Against Negligent Doctors Or GPs

How To Report A Negligent Doctor To The General Medical Council

Your final option, if the NHS or HSO has failed to resolve your complaint satisfactorily, is to take the complaint to the General Medical Council (GMC). The General Medical Council is the regulatory body overseeing medical professionals in the UK. When it comes to how to report a doctor to the GMC, you will need to keep the following three things in mind:

  1. Is the GMC the right organisation to approach for help? (for example, it may be appropriate to begin a compensation claim instead of approaching the GMC).
  2. Can the GMC resolve your issue to your satisfaction? In some cases, such as the victim seeking compensation, the GMC would not be the best choice. Instead, the services of a solicitor would be needed.
  3. Can you provide the GMC with everything it needs to look into your complaint? If your complaint has already been turned down due to insufficient information by the NHS or the HSO, then the GMC might not be able to help either.

When And How The GMC Investigates Reports Of Negligence By Doctors

The GMC will only begin an investigation into a doctor’s conduct in certain circumstances. Examples of these kinds of circumstances could include:

  • When repeated, serious mistakes have been made.
  • Not taking care of a patient’s needs properly.
  • Assaulting or sexually assaulting a patient.
  • Fraudulent activities.
  • When a crime has been committed.
  • When a GP has abused their position.
  • Discrimination against a patient.
  • Harassment of co-workers or patients.
  • Filing to maintain patient confidentiality.

If the GMC does decide to start an investigation, it will start to collect and examine the evidence, such as:

  • Documented evidence such as medical records and test results.
  • Testimony from witnesses.
  • Reports form impartial experts.
  • A performance assessment of the GP.
  • A health assessment of the GP.
  • An assessment of the GP’s ability to speak English.

What Steps Could The GMC Take Against A Negligent Doctor?

If you report a negligent GP to the GMC and it finds that your complaint is valid, then there are certain actions the organisation can take. This starts with interim sanctions that could include stopping the GP from practising medicine until the complaint has been investigated and resolved fully.
Once the investigation is complete, if the complaint is upheld, the following actions may be taken:

  • The GP is issued with a warning.
  • The GP must sign a document stating they are undertaking efforts to improve the way they work.
  • A full Medical Practitioners Tribunal (MTB) will be instigated to investigate things further. Which could ultimately, in the worst case, see the doctor struck off.

How To Report A Negligent Doctor To The NHS

You can complain about a GP in the UK to the NHS. The first thing to do is to follow the complaints procedure of the surgery. You can ask to see a copy of the procedure the surgery itself follows related to complaints. You can then follow this procedure to make your formal complaint about the surgery. NHS complaints need to contain the following information:

  • The event that you are complaining about.
  • How the event happened and the key dates.
  • What you would like to see as a resolution to your complaint.
  • How the NHS can get in touch with you.

The NHS must acknowledge your complaint within three days of it being made. The NHS must then investigate it fully. You can make your complaint in writing, in person, or by email. You cannot phone a complaint. 

If you’ve complained to the service provider directly and you’re not happy with the result, you can’t then go on to raise this to the relevant clinical commissioning group (CCG) who are responsible for commissioning service in the area.  However, if you’re unhappy with how the provider has handled your complaint, for example, due to delays you’ve experienced, then you can raise this with the CCG. You can contact your local CCG through this online tool.

If you’d like more details on how to report a negligent doctor, or would like free legal advice around making a claim, please get in touch with us today. 

How To Report A Negligent Doctor To The NHS Ombudsman

If you are not satisfied with the resolution of your medical negligence complaint that the NHS has come up with, you can take your case further to the Health Service Ombudsman (HSO). This is a parliamentary regulatory body. 

To be able to do this, you must have received the definitive reply to your complaint from the NHS. If it has taken too long to receive this response, the HSO could assist you with this as well. The HSO will generally only look into complaints that are less than 12 months old, although there could be extenuating circumstances that the HSO believes are reasons to look into an older complaint.

If you’re interested in knowing how to report a negligent doctor when the NHS or HSO hasn’t resolved the issue to your satisfaction, please read on to our next section. 

Victim Support And Patient Liaison

When a complaint about a GP is made to the GMC, the organisation can offer some help to patients who have been harmed. The Patient Liaison Service is responsible for providing this help.

The patient will be able to talk over their complaint face to face with an expert and find out what is going to happen, when and why. The patient will also have all of their questions answered at this time. Once the investigation has reached a conclusion, a further meeting will be arranged with the patient to discuss the outcome.

Having established how to report a negligent doctor, you may be wondering how much you could receive in a compensation claim. If this is the case, then you’ll find our next section of use. 

No Win No Fee Claims Against Negligent Doctors Or GPs

In order to make a No Win No Fee claim against a negligent doctor, you will need to demonstrate that they failed to provide medical care at the expected standard and, as a result of this, you suffered avoidable harm. By “avoidable harm,” we mean harm that would not have occurred had the correct standard of care been provided.

We should also emphasise that mere dissatisfaction with the care you receive is not enough for a medical negligence claim. While you may be unhappy with the treatment you received, if the correct standard was met, then you cannot make a medical negligence claim.

Before we conclude our guide on reporting negligent doctors or GPs, it’s worth discussing the benefits of hiring a solicitor on the basis of a No Win No Fee. Solicitors who offer Conditional Fee Agreements, which is a type of No Win No Fee contract, usually won’t ask for a fee upfront or whilst the claim is ongoing.

Additionally, you won’t have to pay your solicitor for their services if your claim is not successful. Should your claim succeed, they’ll take a success fee from your award. However, the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 limits the percentage that your solicitor takes.

For further information on how to report a doctor that is negligent, or if you would like to work with a No Win No Fee solicitor, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our advisors can arrange a free consultation to assess your claim and answer any questions you may have.

There are plenty of ways you can get in touch with us, including:

  • Giving our free 24/7 advice line a call on 0800 073 8804
  • Sending an email to
  • Popping up to an online claim advisor using our free 24/7 online chat service.

A No Win No Fee solicitor discusses how to report a negligent doctor and why this can help your claim.

Thank you for reading our guide on how to report a negligent doctor.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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