GP locums and ‘Fit to Participate’ forms

12th April 2024 by Dr Sarah Townley, deputy medical director at Medical Protection Society (MPS)

GP locums and ‘Fit to Participate’ forms

Medical Protection is frequently contacted for advice on how to handle requests from patients who need to be declared fit to participate in potentially high-risk activities.

While such requests usually surge towards the summer, a GP locum can be presented with a fit to participate form at any time of the year and activities can include skydiving, marathon running, swimming challenges, polar water plunges, and mountain climbing.

If you declare someone as fit for entering an event, and the patient suffers harm as a result of undertaking the event with an unknown, but detectable, medical condition, you could – in theory – be the subject of a civil claim. However, by refusing to sign the form patients may feel you are discouraging an active lifestyle. Many extreme challenges are also once in a lifetime events, raising money for charities close to patients’ hearts. They may have prepared for some time, invested in travel arrangements, and obtained sponsorship.

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