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NCASNational Clinical Assessment Service. A national UK service established in 2001, following recommendations made in the Chief Medical Officer for England’s reports, Supporting Doctors, Protecting Patients (1999), and Assuring the Quality of Medical Practice: Implementing Supporting Doctors, Protecting Patients (2001). NCAS works to resolve concerns about the practice of doctors, dentists and pharmacists working in primary and secondary care, including locums and postgraduate trainees, by providing case management services to healthcare organisations and individual practitioners. The NCAS works with all parties to clarify the concerns and understand what is leading to them and makes recommendations to help practitioners return to safe practice. It responds to calls about any aspect of individual or team practice, even when it is unclear whether there is evidence of poor practice, and provides advice on long-standing and complex cases. The NCAS is an advisory body; the referring organisation retains responsibility for handling the case. It works both with the NHS and the independent health sector. NCAS services are free of charge to NHS organisations.
• Advice from experts with backgrounds in clinical practice, healthcare and human resources management, signposting to other resources to help the doctor’s employing trust manage its concern(s).
• Specialist interventions including facilitation, mediation, performance assessment, action-planning and back-to-work support.
• Shared learning from NCAS’ case experience, evaluation and research.