This briefing offers a guide to understanding a Rule 7 letter from the GMC. As this can be an incredibly difficult period in your career, it is essential to understand the investigation process and what will be expected of you.

Who issues the Rule 7 letter?

The Case Examiners will send you a Rule 7 letter once they have nearly reached the end of their investigation. This is their opportunity to outline the allegations and the evidence that they have collected.

Who are the Case Examiners?

The Rule 7 letter outlines the role of the Case Examiners and the decisions that are available to them once they have completed their investigations.

You must notify them of any potential conflicts of interest between yourself and any of the Case Examiners. A link is provided which you can follow to a list of the Case Examiners to allow you to check for any potential conflicts. You must notify the GMC of any conflicts of interest within a deadline which is stated in the letter.

What next

The GMC will contact your employers to gather additional information, this provides your employers with an opportunity to raise any concerns they have about your practice generally and in relation to the allegations which triggered the investigation.

You will need to complete the enclosed form with your employment history and indemnity providers’ information.

Response

You are invited to provide information to assist the investigation and to also respond to the allegation. The letter includes some points that you may want to use as a basis for your response, however, you should contact your MDO as soon as you receive your Rule 7 letter as they can assist you in drafting your response in collaboration with lawyers from a specialist healthcare department such as RadcliffesLeBrasseur.

Top tips

  • You will be expected to show insight in your response, it is best to evidence what steps you have taken to address the allegations.
  • As there is only a 28 day deadline, it is advised that you consult a legal department with expertise in GMC fitness to practice investigations in order to produce an appropriate response.