If the GMC calls. . .

Blank letter coming through the letterbox ready to add your own message

There is probably nothing anyone can do to entirely eliminate the risk of a GMC referral, says Tania Francis. Sometimes, it is down to just plain bad luck. It is certainly often nothing to do with your abilities as a doctor, and that’s important to remember if you are unlucky enough to receive the dreaded GMC letter.

It’s important to bear in mind that not all complaints to the GMC go anywhere. Many are weeded out by the GMC at an early stage, sometimes without you even knowing anything about them.

Others are investigated and then closed. You may be asked for your comments on a complaint or allegation.

If that happens – take advice from your medical defence organisation or insurer. You may be advised to say nothing at all at the very earliest stages.

This could be because it’s better to wait until you know more about the allegations and the evidence there is to support them. At this early stage, you will not yet have access to all the relevant documentation – and any other evidence – and you should not rely on your memory.