We are delighted to have been invited to deliver a keynote speech for a third time at the Westminster Health Forum. Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden DAUK Chair will be be delivering a keynote speech on the Learn Not Blame movement and joining a panel on patient safety and regulation. Dr Batt-Rawden will be speaking alongside the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, Dr Bill Kirkup, Sir Robert Francis QC and Professor Leslie Hamilton.
DAUK are delighted to have been asked to deliver a session at the BMJ Leaders in Healthcare conference. Dr Jenny Vaughan our Law and Policy Officer will be delivering a masterclass entitled Carer or Criminal? Second Victims and the Move Towards Constructive Accountability. Dr Cicely Cunningham our Learn Not Blame lead will also be presenting.
We are delighted to have been invited to speak at the Royal Society of Medicine. Dr Jenny Vaughan DAUK’s Law and Policy lead will delivering a keynote speech entitled. ‘Moving on from blame’.
The final session will concentrate on safety in medicine including the role of the GMC.
The event is open to all delegates and will be hosted at the Royal Society of Medicine.
what have dauk been up to recently?
I acknowledge that niqab may impact rapport between the doctor and the patient in the same way that perhaps large shades or pulled up hoodies would, and, I acknowledge that it may make us doctors more uncomfortable to ask patients to remove an article of religious clothing than it would shades or a hoodie, and much more so perhaps for male doctors and for non-Muslim doctors. But the only way forward is having mature, respectful, nuanced, conversations about this involving the women who wear it, not excluding them, and working on policies that enhance the quality of patient/doctor relationships whilst accommodating patient’s beliefs as much as possible.
I sit here some 3 months on from my first blog which highlighted the pain and suffering my brother (a Doctor) faced and the continuing anguish us bereaved folk deal with. Some choose various paths to grieve, I have chosen to channel my efforts into improving the working lives of doctors and empower them to take charge of their own wellbeing constructively. I want my brother to be one of the last few to suffer. Yes, he was overworked and pushing himself to inhumane levels of performance for the primary objective of the good for his patients. But why? It is clear our health system does not equip doctors well enough with the tools to execute their jobs effectively, nor has processes or work cultures that ensure staff are looked after from a wellbeing point of view.
Being deafblind, I was repeatedly told by so many not to even bother applying to university, let alone Medicine. Why? Because disabled people like me don’t get into higher education. This infuriated me. I was tired of society underestimating ‘us’, undervaluing us.
It’s been a busy in Medical Manslaughter land. I attach my DAUK commentary on the medical Manslaughter review out recently.
Five years ago, when I first started doing the appeal for David Sellu ( check out his new book “ Did He Save Lives? “via Foyles and Waterstones) I never dreamt of a day like this. A whole review has now essentially concluded that if any doctor is being lined up for criminal charges, it will now be expected that the setting in which they work will be equally scrutinised and that experts will have to consider if human factors like stress or fatigue were more to blame. All I could see then was darkness, a toxic hospital with its knives out and judgemental expert witnesses. Now we have moved forward and all of us here at DAUK applaud Leslie Hamilton and his panel for such an excellent set of 29 recommendations.
‘To the Hammersmith Coroner: I have taken a fairly substantial dose of barbiturates. I have never taken a drug before in my life. I have passed my apogee. My skill is going and I am in deep despair. I find myself in unmitigated gloom. Although I am a sincere and practising Christian, I cannot continue. I have burnt myself out. There is too much to do. I cannot write my book again. My department has produced the electronic control of patients in operating theatres, done the first intra-cardiac operations, transplanted the first kidney homografts in Britain, shown the connection between blood groups and disease - and there has been no distinction given to us...Ian Aird’
McLeave, who knew Aird well, interpreted that final comment, not as an embittered comment at the lack of personal recognition, such was not his nature, but rather as a reflection of the struggles he’d long had in attracting funding for his work and the active discouragement he’d experienced from within the medical profession.
Being a BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) medic comes with its rewards and challenges. Having been raised in the cultural melting-pot of East London, my experiences of interacting with other ethnic minorities in my formative years provided me with a rich array of differing conduits through which I can form a rapport with a wide variety of patients. In saying this, there have also been challenges that I have personally faced in my medical journey, problems that my fellow BAME colleagues have experienced and many more systemic issues which have slowly become more apparent.
As a senior Consultant involved in a number of national organisations, I found myself, in March of this year, in the unusual situation of being asked to advise NHS England in March as part of their preparations for a ‘No Deal Brexit’ scenario for pharmaceuticals in neurology. I was aware, from the media, that a large number of non-disclosure agreements had been signed (even though NDAs were meant to have been banned in the NHS some years ago). Thus, I took the precaution of speaking to my medical defence organisation prior to agreeing to participate. As it happened, when asked to assist, I was not asked to sign an NDA, but asked not to share any of the password protected documents without permission. At the time I was happy to do this- ultimately someone has to get the country ready in the event of a ‘No Deal’, even though numerous bodies had warned about the risks of No Deal in healthcare- from the Royal College of Physicians, the Chief Medical Officer and even my own hospital Trust had warned of the patient safety risks. However although the ‘No Deal’ plans were extensive, I became increasingly uncomfortable
The lesson for me, is to follow the process ie where you have a legitimate patient safety concern... but I can legitimately say that I took all reasonable steps before going to the media. If I had got one piece of this puzzle wrong, my opponents would have had a field day.
Amandip Sidhu is a Learn Not Blame member and pharmacist. Tragically, Amandip lost his brother, a respected Consultant Cardiologist to suicide just a few months ago. In this heartbreaking and powerful guest blog for DAUK and the Compassionate Culture campaign, Amandip reflects on the “just get on with it” attitude of the NHS, and how we must move to kinder NHS that treats it’s staff with much needed compassion.
Dr Joanna Poole is an Anaesthetic trainee and a DAUK member. After sharing a blog on Twitter about wanting to quit medicine which went viral, Joanna has also been inundated with messages from fellow doctors who have found themselves in a similar situation. Now, Joanna has been invited to share her experiences with multiple Royal Colleges and Joanna is collating the responses she has received anonymously in the hope this will inspire a kinder NHS for our doctors. Joanna is a force for change and is a real example for what grassroots doctors can achieve when they speak up. We look forward to working with Joanna at DAUK.