Fitness to practise

Here we talk to people who have been a witness in a Fitness to Practise investigation when they or their family member came to harm while under the care of a health or social care professional.

There are 13 regulators in the UK which aim to make sure over 1.5m health and social care professionals practise safely. If professionals fail to meet the standards, they may face a Fitness to Practise investigation and hearing.

In the following films, people discuss their experience of being a witness in this process after coming to harm themselves, or on behalf of a family member who was seriously harmed or died.

They talk about the impact of being a witness in investigations and hearings at fitness to practise tribunals, what support they received from the regulator and what support they would like. This is important because having to remember traumatic events can be deeply distressing, and even re-traumatising, yet their evidence is often crucial.

People’s stories

P was seriously harmed during surgery and is experiencing life threatening ill health as an outcome. The fitness to practise hearing involved two public witnesses. The facts relevant to impairment were found proved, the outcome on impairment was not impaired and the registrant received a warning.

P’s story

L experienced a heart attack after too much adrenaline was administered during a tooth extraction. The registrant was given conditions for six months around mentoring and record keeping.

L’s Story

Richard’s son had mental health problems. He was sectioned under the mental health act and later died of a drug overdose. Following the advice of a member of staff at the NHS trust, Richard made a complaint about two of the doctors involved in his son’s care to the GMC and then to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. One of the doctors was struck off the medical register.

Richard’s story

D’s face was burnt when the dentist used equipment from the steriliser. Due to Covid restrictions, the hearing was delayed for a long time, then finally took place online. The dentist was suspended for 9 months and is now back as a fully registered dentist.

D’s story

Sarah referred the midwife who had sent her home instead of to hospital. Her baby died and the registrant was issued with a caution order.

Sarah’s story

J became very unwell after dentist error around medication led to him being put into an induced coma.

a photo of a man with short hair and a blue tshirt

N was sexually assaulted by a male nurse while she was sedated following a shoulder operation at a private hospital. The nurse was struck off after a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing.

N’s story