The National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS) is a national service, established in April 2001 following recommendations made in the Chief Medical Officer for England’s reports, Supporting Doctors, Protecting Patients (November 1999), and Assuring the Quality of Medical Practice: Implementing Supporting Doctors, Protecting Patients (January 2001).
NCAS works to resolve concerns about the practice of doctors, dentists and pharmacists by providing case management services to health care organisations and to individual practitioners. Our aim is to work with all parties to clarify the concerns, understand what is leading to them and make recommendations to help practitioners return to safe practice.
We respond to calls about any aspect of individual or team practice, even where it is not yet clear whether there is evidence of poor practice. We also provide advice on long-standing and complex cases and we can discuss concerns without the need for the practitioner to be identified. Contacting us for initial advice does not commit the caller to making further use of our service. We do not take on the role of an employer so we do not investigate cases ourselves, nor do we function as a regulator.
We are established as an advisory body, and the referring organisation retains responsibility for handling the case. Since 2001, NCAS has extended its coverage across the UK and associated states, within both the NHS and the independent health sector. We cover doctors, dentists and pharmacists working in primary and secondary care, including locums and postgraduate trainees.
All our services, with the exception of team reviews, are currently free of charge to NHS organisations.