NHS managers are raising more concerns about the performance of GPs and other doctors, figures have suggested.
The number of referrals made about GPs by managers and other senior staff has risen 8% in 2010/11, according to the research.
The research also showed that referrals about community and hospital doctors were up 17% in the same period.
Concerns were over things such as health professionals not meeting the demands of clinical performance and general misconduct issues.
Health issues such as alcohol or substance abuse were also the subject of some concerns, according to the research.
The National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS), part of the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), received 1,020 referrals requesting advice in 2010/11, a 5% rise on the previous year.
In 2010/11, 324 NHS organisations across the UK made at least one referral to NCAS to ask for help.
Most of the requests (960) were about specific concerns.
The number involving family doctors rose 8% in 2010/11 (from 235 to 254). Those about doctors working in hospitals and the community rose 17% (from 505 to 592), although changes to how doctors are checked is thought to be behind some of this rise.