Protection in Practice

These stories are based on real cases of us helping members like you to navigate difficult situations.

You know how important it is to have expert advice and support should claims of clinical negligence arise. But these stories demonstrate how membership can protect you beyond those clinical negligence claims to ensure your career and professional standing are protected too.

If you are concerned about any issues similar to the ones featured in these films please contact our medicolegal advice line, where our expert team are ready and happy to help.

Dr. Mark Price's story

An allegation of sexual misconduct

After performing a seemingly straightforward cardiac examination, Dr. Price was horrified to face a police interview under caution. See how our experienced team helped him manage this complex and stressful situation and clear his name.

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Facing a police investigation

While being involved in a police investigation is relatively uncommon, it can happen and can feel devastating to be caught up in.

The police may contact you seeking information for a number of reasons, such as allegations of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, assisting a patient's suicide or gross negligence manslaughter. Knowing what to expect and having adequate legal support can help you ensure you don't say or do anything that could harm your case.

If for any reason you are contacted by the police in relation to a matter arising from your work as a doctor, take the details of the officer investigating and then get in touch with Medical Protection and talk to our experts for advice on how to proceed. Don't try and handle it yourself – we're here to support you.

It's important not to give any account to the police without first seeking our advice. If you're asked to attend for an interview on a particular date, explain that you are willing to cooperate but would like to speak to your defence organisation first, to ask if they can provide representation.

In the meantime, don't make contact with anyone who may be a witness in the police investigation and don't discuss the allegations with anyone before speaking to us.

Offering a chaperone

A patient should always be offered a chaperone when an intimate examination is to be carried out, but when the patient lives alone or no chaperone is available, the best thing to do is step back and consider whether the examination is urgently required or not. If it's not, then you should try and rearrange the appointment for a time when a chaperone is available.

Remember, your patient may have a different perception to you of what constitutes an intimate examination. For example, some patients may find a cardiovascular examination or the process of an ECG intimate.

The nature of the intended examination should be carefully explained to the patient, and their consent obtained and recorded before you go ahead. This is vital in preventing the possibility of any misunderstanding and giving the patient a chance to decline. They also need to know what to expect in terms of any pain or discomfort.

Visit for further information on the subject and don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

Drafting a statement

A statement is a written account of what happened if an incident has occurred or been alleged.

When providing a statement to the police it's important to remember that this could be used as evidence in court at a later stage. Our experts can provide you with immediate support in an urgent situation and advice lines are open 24/7.

Your Medical Protection support team can help you take control of the situation, by liaising with the police and helping you prepare a statement.

If an allegation is made and the police are involved then we can provide a lawyer to represent you from the outset. They can clarify the nature of the allegation being made and work with you to decide on the best way to handle the interview process. This includes determining what, if anything, to say in reply to questioning.

Attending a police interview

If you are suspected of having committed a criminal offence you have the right to speak to a solicitor before being interviewed.

While you can waive this right (and may be encouraged by the police to do so) we strongly advise members to ensure they have representation before being interview under caution.

Our experts will help you to prepare for a police interview and guide you on what to say. We will arrange for legal representation during your interview. However straightforward an interview sounds, there is still the possibility of self-incrimination and an experienced lawyer can help you act in your own best interests.

You should never voluntarily accompany the police to the police station and are allowed to politely decline. If you do end up at a police station, exercise your right to silence until you have contacted us.

If you are charged as a result of a police investigation your case management team will continue to instruct solicitors on your behalf, ensuring they have all the time and resources required to help you build a robust defence and prepare you to give evidence.

Protection in practice

GPs can be held to account for their actions in many situations other than being sued, police investigations being one of them. It is therefore vital that you have access to expert help to limit the potential damage to your career and reputation, not only in relation to the criminal matter but in case of subsequent investigations such as by the GMC.

While the Government's state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs in England and Wales will provide support with clinical negligence claims in many (although not all) cases, it won't provide this type of support or advice when you need it. In order to safeguard your career, you need to have professional protection alongside state indemnity. That's where Medical Protection comes in.

We're at the end of the phone whenever you need us and can help with a wide range of situations where you face professional scrutiny including complaints, disciplinary proceedings, coroner's inquests, police matters and GMC investigations. In addition to this, our medicolegal advice line provides advice on a wide range of medicolegal and ethical matters that clinicians face on a daily basis.

Our expertise means we can put your welfare first and are best place to provide emotional support, anticipate challenges, help you explain your actions and demonstrate insight, all of which can all lead to better outcomes.

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