Being called to an investigation can be a daunting prospect. It can often help for the member concerned to be supported by the presence of a UNISON steward.

Before the investigation it is useful to set down in writing all you know about the incident - if you recorded this information at the time of, or soon after, the incident so much the better.

Your account of the incident should cover the following points:

  • Details of the incident which is the subject of the investigation - if anyone was injured or suffered harm as a result of the treatment/actions given by you, give full details.
  • Where and when (date & time) did the incident occur - if the incident happened outside give details of the weather at the time e.g. rain; the temperature and if appropriate the road conditions. If the incident did not occur in daylight what was the standard of the artificial lighting available at the scene.
  • Who was present during the incident - had you met the patient/relatives/friends before. Were there any independent witnesses. Had you worked with your colleague before.
  • Was anything said during the incident which affected what happened or the treatment given.
  • Why did you take the action you took or give the treatment you gave.
  • Had you received appropriate training to enable you to deal with the situation you faced.
  • Had you sought - or did you consider seeking - assistance (2nd crew etc) to deal with the incident.
  • Was the equipment available to you in good working order and adequate to deal with the incident. Had you received training in the equipment.
  • When was your last time at work before the incident occurred. When did you last have a rest day before the incident.
  • Were there any extenuating circumstances which affected your performance at the incident - e.g. were you unwell, worried about some domestic or other problems.
  • Were you taking medications at the time of the incident which might have had a bearing on what happened.
  • When you have written your account of the incident it is advisable for you to go through it with your UNISON steward. Their experience in these matters can be helpful.

During the investigation:

BE HONEST - answer the questions as briefly and directly as possible - make sure your side of the story is fully understood by the Management representatives. If you don't know the answer, say no.

If during the meeting you feel unwell, intimidated or are overcome by the occasion, if you are accompanied by your UNISON steward inform them so that an adjournment can be sought.

If you need a steward then visit the relevant contact site for your area.


When you fill in a patient report form it should be:
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