I suspect a colleague has a drink problem. Can I raise concerns without proof?

So long as your concern is honestly held, you do not need proof. Turning detective to find evidence to back your suspicions may not be appropriate and could lead to unnecessary delay when patient safety is at risk.

If the doctor is a close colleague, you could approach them and explain your concerns. Ideally, they'll be honest about any problems and agree to seek help. But if they're unable to reassure you, do not allow professional loyalty to override your duty to protect patients.

Contact the MDU advice line if you're unsure how to raise concerns in this situation.

Read our guide on raising concerns or raising concerns in the Republic of Ireland.

You can also check for sources of support for doctors' health and wellbeing.

This page was correct at publication on 15/03/2022. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.