The General Medical Council (GMC) has just published the 29 final recommendations of the long-awaited reviewinto how gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide are applied to medical practice. This was an independent review chaired by consultant cardiac surgeon, Leslie Hamilton, and undertaken after widespread criticism of the GMC’s handling of the case of Hadiza Bawa-Garba. The Doctor’s Association UK, among many other organisations, has been calling for a truly “Just Culture” to be adopted by the NHS for staff and patients alike as part of its Learn Not Blame campaign, and broadly welcomes the report.
Dr Jenny Vaughan, our Law and Policy Officer gave a talk at ICS SOA 2018 entitled ‘Criminalisation of Healthcare. Does it improve patient safety?’. Jenny discussed the history of gross negligence manslaughter in the UK, case law, and revisited the case of Dr Bawa-Garba. You can now listen to Jenny’s full speech as a podcast on the ICS site, including advice on how doctors can avoid litigation.
Following our correspondence with the Health and Social Care Committee (HSC) DAUK has now been invited to submit written evidence to the Parliamentary inquiry into gross negligence manslaughter. This briefing will accompany the BMA’s briefing which will be going to the Health and Social Committee tomorrow afternoon.
Coverage in Pulse: A doctor-led lobbying group has urged the health secretary to review the GMC’s ability to appeal its own fitness-to-practice tribunal. In a letter to Matt Hancock, The Doctor’s Association UK said the GMC’s right to appeal the MPTS has led to ‘significant unwelcome and unintended consequences’.
DAUK has replied to a letter from Charlie Massey dated 13 September. We welcome the apology offered by Mr Massey and the opportunity to meet. DAUK has, however, expressed concern in a number of areas, including the news that the GMC is continuing to appeal MPTS verdicts, and call on the GMC to cease doing so urgently.