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Medico Legal

There should be no need for whistleblowers in a transparent NHS, conference told

The chair of the BMA council, Mark Porter, told a conference on whistleblowing on 3 October that some of the risks faced by patients in hospitals were caused by the working environment and culture within the NHS rather than the fact that providing healthcare is itself 'inherently risky'.

He said that there would continue to be poor care and avoidable patient-safety incidents " long as the culture of quality and safety is not fully embedded into our service from the top to the bottom and, as importantly, back again from the bottom to the top.

"We are engaged in a business that needs urgently to reform itself and to move from the victimisation of those with a conscience, to their celebration."

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 October 2012 13:48


One third of elderly cancers diagnosed in A&E

Kings College Hospital A&E by C Ford for Expert Witness storyNearly one third of cancers in the over 70s are diagnosed following emergency admission to hospital, according to new research by the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) and published on 21 September in the British Journal of Cancer.

The research found that 31% of cancers in that age group – around 38,300 a year in England – are diagnosed through an emergency presentation, compared to 24%, or around 58,400 cases a year, in all age groups. This new study examined the journey of 739,667 cancer patients between 2006 and 2008 in England, working backwards to see how they were diagnosed with cancer and the sequence of events that took them there.

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 September 2012 13:09


Medics facing unparalleled increase in negligence claims

Doctors are facing unprecedented increases in claims for compensation for clinical negligence, according to the Medical Defence Union, the mutual organisation that indemnifies doctors and dentists against claims for negligence and malpractice.

In its Annual Report for 2011, published on 10 August, the MDU said the medico-legal challenges faced by doctors are "unmatched in the company's 126-year history".

In a statement, the MDU said that, during 2011, it opened 17% more medical claims files, saw an 18% rise in requests for assistance with GMC investigations and a 56% increase in disciplinary cases against GP and hospital doctor members, compared to the previous year.


Olympic doping lab to become research centre

Doping facilityIn what has been described as a "phenomenal" contribution to the London 2012 legacy, the Games' anti-doping facilities, provided by GlaxoSmithKline at its Harlow base, will be developed after the Olympic and Paralympic Games into a world-class resource that could help revolutionise healthcare. The MRC-NIHR Phenome Centre will use the cutting edge facilities developed for London 2012 to help develop better and more targeted treatment for patients. The centre, the first of its kind in the world, will enable researchers to explore the characteristics of disease in order to develop new drugs and treatments for patients.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 11:10


Surgeons call for legal protection of job title

Expert Witness surgeons story picture of surgeons operating from US armed forces picsThe Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has called on the Government to legally protect the job title 'surgeon', so only those who have qualified as a medical doctor and undertaken post-graduate surgical training can use the title. The call follows publication of a survey for its patient group, which found that 95% of adults in Great Britain would expect an individual using the job title 'surgeon' to have a medical degree.

The poll, carried out by ICM, reveals the overwhelming level of public trust that surgeons are medically qualified, despite the fact that there are no legal restrictions about who can and can't be called a surgeon.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 July 2012 15:00