FAQs - I am asked to provide information assisting the Commission

The Commission has written to me asking for information about an incident involving a colleague of mine where I was a witness. Do I have to respond?

If the Commission has asked you in a letter to provide information, you may decline to respond. However, the Commission does have the power to compel you to provide information and may choose to do this, if you do not voluntarily provide the requested information. Penalties may apply if you fail to comply with a formal Notice to Provide Information without a reasonable excuse.

If you are issued with a Notice, but are afraid that you could incriminate yourself, you are entitled to claim protection from incrimination. This does not relieve you of the obligation to provide information, but does make the information you provide inadmissible against you in any civil or criminal proceedings.

The Commission has written to me asking me about an incident of care where I was one of the nurses/doctors. Does this mean I am being investigated?

No. However, the Commission has a responsibility to keep assessing all complaints it is investigating. This means that when gathering evidence it may emerge that the conduct of another health service provider raises questions about public health and safety or that there is evidence that some conduct may have been significantly below the standard reasonably expected. In these cases, it is open to the Commission to assess whether investigation of another practitioner is warranted. However, in most cases where you have been asked to provide information as a witness, the Commission does not decide to investigate other individuals.