You may complain to the General Medical Council, 178-202 Great Portland Street, London W1N 6JE (Tel: 0171 580 7642) should you be concerned about a doctor's improper conduct. The General Medical Council is the governing body of the medical profession. Members are composed of elected and appointed members of the medical profession and some 50% are nominated lay members. The GMC can discipline any doctor who is judged to be guilty of serious professional misconduct.
The GMC publishes a book entitled 'Professional Conduct and Discipline: Fitness to Practice' which provides guidance about the disciplinary procedures, forms of conduct which may lead to disciplinary proceedings and advice on standards of professional conduct and medical ethics. The ultimate penalty is for a doctor to be struck off the register so that he or she can no longer practice; he or she may also be suspended for a period. The GMC publishes two leaflets for the public entitled 'Making a complaint about the professional conduct of a doctor' and 'The disciplinary procedures of the General Medical Council'. These should be available from Community Health Councils (Health & Social Services Boards in Northern Ireland and Local Health Councils in Scotland) or direct from the General Medical Council at the address above.
Under the Medical (Professional Performance) Act which came into force in 1996, the General Medical Council is given the power to address concerns about a doctor because of consistently poor performance, and not just for misconduct.
Nurses and midwives are governed by a Code of Professional Conduct; this applies to all health professionals irrespective of where they work (e.g. a nurse or midwife may work outside of the NHS, such as in a nursing home). Where appropriate, action could be taken against the staff member including the practitioner being 'struck off' the UKCC (the governing registration body) register.
Complaints about misconduct that brings their profession into disrepute can be made to the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, 23 Portland Place, London W1N 4JT Tel:0171 637 7181.