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Found 399 results
  1. News Article
    A group of doctors, including some GPs, has begun legal proceedings against the GMC based on what they say is a failure to act on Covid-19 vaccine misinformation. On Friday, the group, whose members wish to remain anonymous, sent a formal pre-action protocol letter to the GMC, which is a warning that legal action is imminent. In January, these doctors called on the regulator to investigate Dr Aseem Malhotra’s fitness to practise due to what they claim is his ‘high-profile promotion of misinformation about Covid-19 mRNA vaccines’. Dr Malhotra, a consultant cardiologist, campaigner and author, has over half a million followers on Twitter, with most recent posts focusing on the Covid vaccine. The upcoming action, which is led by lawyers from the Good Law Project, is based on the GMC’s refusal to carry out an investigation. Professor Trish Greenhalgh, a GP and academic in primary care at the University of Oxford who has been in touch with the group, told Pulse the ‘scandal is that the GMC do not think it’s their job to investigate doctors who have massive, massive followings on social media and who fan the flames of disinformation’. Read full story Source: Pulse, 5 June 2023
  2. News Article
    A controversial new Florida bill will allow physicians to opt out of performing certain services because of "sincerely held" religious, moral, or ethical beliefs. The bill, part of a "medical freedom" legislative package signed last week, permits healthcare providers to make conscience-based objections to providing medical care and protects them from getting sued or losing their licenses. Critics say the new law could exacerbate health disparities and lead to discrimination against certain groups of patients, including LGBTQ+ individuals and women seeking reproductive healthcare. Psychologists could refuse to treat someone for gender dysphoria, for example. Doctors could refuse to prescribe birth control, administer childhood vaccines, or accept patients with state insurance. Kenneth W. Goodman, professor and director of the University of Miami's Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, told Medscape Medical News the legislation could upset a longstanding precedent. "To deny care based on unspecified and unarticulated 'moral, ethical, or religious reasons' opens the door to neglect, abandonment, and suspicion," Goodman said. "It undermines two millennia of a cornerstone of medical ethics: take care of your patients — no matter who they are." Read full story Source: Medscape, 18 May 2023
  3. Content Article
    If sodium valproate is taken during pregnancy there is a significant risk of harm to the baby as well as later developmental and learning disabilities. There are two versions of the tool, one for patients with epilepsy and the other for patients with bipolar disorder. Patients can use the tools with their clinician to help them understand the potential risks and benefits of valproate and help them to decide whether to start or keep taking it. Any patients who wish to no longer take valproate should have their medication carefully managed as a sudden stop in the use of sodium valproate can cause severe harm. The tools have been developed with a range of expert clinicians, and patient representatives. To support the introduction of these tools to both patients and clinicians, NHS England has produced the attached comms toolkit containing key messages, template articles and suggested social media posts and graphics.
  4. News Article
    Healthcare providers caring for pregnant patients in the months after the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v Wade have been unable to provide standard medical care in states where abortion is effectively outlawed, leading to delays and worsening and dangerous health outcomes for patients, according to an expansive new report. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling last year, individual reports from patients and providers have shed some light on the wide range of harm facing pregnant women in states where access to abortion care is restricted or outright banned. But a first-of-its-kind report from the University of California San Francisco captures examples from across the country, documenting 50 cases in more than a dozen states that enacted abortion bans within the last 10 months, painting a “stark picture of how the fall of Roe is impacting healthcare in states that restrict abortion,” according to the report’s author Dr Daniel Grossman. “Banning abortion and tying providers’ hands impacts every aspect of care and will do so for years to come,” he said in a statement accompanying the report. “Pregnant people deserve better than regressive policies that put their health and lives at risk.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 16 May 2023
  5. News Article
    Trainee medics in a troubled maternity department have flagged concerns with national regulators over the safety of patients, it has emerged. Last year the General Medical Council said it had concerns about the treatment of obstetric and gynaecology trainees at University Hospitals Birmingham and placed medics at Good Hope Hospital and Heartlands Hospital under intensive support known as “enhanced monitoring”. The GMC’s review flagged serious concerns about emergency gynaecology cover arrangements and said there was a real risk trainees would become hesitant and reluctant to call on consultant support. In September it placed additional restrictions on training, due to “ongoing significant concerns about the learning environment and patient safety”. Now it has emerged in board papers for Birmingham and Solihull integrated care board that Health Education England, now part of NHS England, and the GMC carried out a follow-up visit to UHB in late March to review progress. Board documents state that “several patient safety concerns [were] reported by postgraduate doctors in training to the visiting team”, with a subsequent feedback letter from HEE urging immediate changes to dedicated consultant time and job plans. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 17 May 2023
  6. News Article
    The UK medical regulator has launched an investigation into a “stalker” doctor who accessed intimate details of the health history of a woman who had begun dating the doctor’s ex-boyfriend. The General Medical Council (GMC) is investigating whether the doctor – a consultant at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge – breached their professional, ethical and legal duties to protect the woman’s personal information. The victim has given the watchdog a statement detailing the consultant’s repeated violations of her medical records and documentation that shows what she did. The GMC declined to comment because it has not yet decided to open a formal disciplinary case against the consultant, who could face serious sanctions including a ban on working as a doctor. One of the GMC’s investigative officers is examining the victim’s claims and collecting evidence. The Guardian revealed how the doctor had looked at the victim’s hospital and GP records seven times last August and September, in the early stages of the woman’s relationship with a man the consultant had been involved with for several years. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 15 May 2023
  7. News Article
    The confidentiality of NHS medical records has been thrown into doubt after a “stalker” hospital doctor accessed and shared highly sensitive information about a woman who had started dating her ex-boyfriend, despite not being involved in her care. The victim was left in “fear, shock and horror” when she learned that the doctor had used her hospital’s medical records system to look at the woman’s GP records and read – and share – intimate details, known only to a few people, about her and her children. “I felt violated when I learned that this woman, who I didn’t know, had managed to access on a number of occasions details of my life that I had shared with my GP and only my family and very closest friends. It was about something sensitive involving myself and my children, about a family tragedy,” the woman said. The case has prompted warnings that any doctor in England could abuse their privileged access to private medical records for personal rather than clinical reasons. Sam Smith, of the health data privacy group MedConfidential, said: “This is an utterly appalling case. It’s an individual problem that the doctor did this. But it’s a systemic problem that they could do it, and that flaws in the way the NHS’s data management systems work meant that any doctor can do something like this to any patient. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 14 May 2023
  8. News Article
    Up to 10 junior doctor posts will be reinstated at a small district general hospital after regulators agreed it had improved its learning environment. In 2021, Health Education England removed 10 doctors from Weston Hospital over concerns they were being left without adequate supervision on understaffed wards. The unusual move prompted University Hospitals Bristol and Weston Foundation Trust to launch a “quality improvement approach” to improve its learner and clinical supervision environment. The regulator said the trust had made significant improvements that included: Better staff engagement with the trust leadership at all levels. Better clinical supervision, particularly around shift handovers and senior oversight of clinical decisions. Better learner experience in new training settings in rheumatology and intensive care medicine. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 10 May 2023
  9. News Article
    Young doctors just out of medical school working as resident physicians, fellows and interns at major US hospitals are organising unions at an increasing rate, citing long-running problems highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic and a need to rethink the struggles young doctors face in the profession. The Committee of Interns and Residents, an affiliate of SEIU, added five unionised sites in 2022 compared with about one a year before the pandemic and the surge has continued in 2023 with multiple union election filings. It currently represents over 25,000 residents, fellows and interns across the US, comprising about 15% of all resident and fellow physicians. Hospital management has opposed the unionisation effort, declining to voluntarily recognise the union, encouraging residents not to sign union authorisation cards ahead of the election filing and writing local op-eds in opposition to unionisation. Since going public with their union plans, staff have been sent emails and been invited to meetings to try to dissuade residents from unionising, “often counting on myths around what unionizing would mean”, said Dr Sascha Murillo, a third-year internal medicine resident at Massachusetts general hospital. The unionising campaign took off after vulnerabilities in the healthcare system were exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, she said, with residents working on the frontlines and bearing the brunt of staffing shortages, an influx of Covid-19 patients, and patients who deferred medical care. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 27 April 2023
  10. News Article
    Almost one in three UK doctors investigated by the General Medical Council (GMC) think about taking their own life, a survey has found. Many doctors under investigation feel they are treated as “guilty until proven innocent” and face “devastating” consequences, the Medical Protection Society (MPS) said. Its survey of 197 doctors investigated by the GMC over the last five years found: 31% said they had suicidal thoughts. 8% had quit medicine and another 29% had thought about doing so. 78% said the investigation damaged their mental health. 91% said it triggered stress and anxiety. The MPS, which represents doctors accused of wrongdoing, accused the GMC of lacking compassion, being heavy-handed and failing to appreciate its impact on doctors. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 27 April 2023
  11. Event
    An enhancing junior doctors working lives (EJDWL) event hosted by NHS England for: Doctors in training Guardians of Safeworking National guidance encourages the use of e-rostering for medics and it is increasingly likely that doctors in training will encounter an e-rota while working in secondary care. However, doctors’ knowledge of e-rostering is often limited to previous experience, which can make it difficult to know whether they are benefiting from all the features available. This lunchtime webinar aims to educate doctors on the range of features available, and empower them to engage with and improve e-rostering at their workplace. As well as an introductory talk from doctors in training in the EJDWL team, hear real world examples from doctors on how they have engaged with and improved e-rostering, and learn how you can do the same at your workplace and nationally. Speakers: Professor Robert Galloway - Helping to solve NHS challenges with a workforce first approachED consultant championing annualised rotas with self-preferencing, University Hospitals Sussex. Dr Daniel BarryAnaesthetic trainee and co-founder of dbrotas, Wessex School of Anaesthetics. Dr Mark Johnson - Personalised Pay - Proving the 'impossible' is possibleMedical registrar and Board Affiliate, championed personalised rotas and pay at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. Dr Nicholas Turner, Dr Jack Haywood, Dr Kavir MatharuNational Medical Director's Clinical Fellows EJDWL working group members. Register
  12. News Article
    Medical leaders have called for third-party arbitration to break the impasse on a pay dispute between junior doctors and the government after hundreds of thousands of procedures and appointments were cancelled as a result of last week’s strike in England. The “colossal impact” of the four-day stoppage compounded by a health service already stretched by the coronavirus pandemic and facing workplace shortages has led the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) to intervene and urge both parties to engage with an independent organisation. The AoMRC, the membership body for the UK and Ireland’s 24 medical royal colleges and faculties, said in a statement it was “concerned that a solution has not yet been reached and about the anticipated impact on NHS services and patients that will potentially follow any future action”. It added: “Both parties need to rapidly engage with an independent organisation to work out how the deadlock can be broken for the sake of patients and the wider NHS.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 20 April 2023
  13. News Article
    A tribunal which allowed a doctor's voluntary removal from the medical register was an "unlawful corner-cutting exercise", a judge has said. Neurologist Michael Watt was at the centre of Northern Ireland's biggest recall of patients. The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) allowed him to voluntarily remove himself in 2021. It meant he would not face a public hearing about any fitness to practice issues. More 2,500 patients who were in his care had their cases reviewed - with around one in five having their diagnosis changed. Having already quashed the decision to grant removal, Mr Justice McAlinden delivered a scathing assessment of how the application was handled on Monday. In Belfast's High Court, he described the process where Dr Watt's request was heard without the necessary jurisdiction as a "fiasco". The court also heard how Dr Watt appeared to have a "get out of jail free card" where patients were denied public scrutiny of their medical care. Read full story Source: BBC News, 17 April 2023
  14. News Article
    Almost 200,000 hospital appointments and procedures in England were cancelled during last week’s junior doctors’ strikes, it has been revealed. There were 20,000 more appointments cancelled in the strikes that ran between 11 and 15 April than in the shorter strike in March, NHS England figures show. A total of 27,361 staff were not at work during the peak of the strikes, though the true figure could be higher as some workforce data was incomplete. The NHS’s national medical director, Prof Sir Stephen Powis, said the figures showed the “colossal impact of industrial action on planned care in the NHS”, with nearly half a million appointments rescheduled over the last five months. He said every postponed appointment had “an impact on the lives of individuals and their families and creates further pressure on services and on a tired workforce – and this is likely to be an underestimate of the impact as some areas provisionally avoided scheduling appointments for these strike days”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 17 April 2023
  15. News Article
    Junior doctors have been accused of putting “politics above patient safety” as figures showed excess deaths almost tripled after their strikes. Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures showed the number of deaths above average increased significantly in the two weeks during and after the first round of industrial action by the British Medical Association (BMA). Junior doctors walked out for 72 hours between March 13 and 15, with more than 175,000 appointments and operations cancelled. Health experts said the walkout around that time could be linked to the rise. A government source said: “The militant leaders of the BMA junior doctors committee seem willing to put politics above patient safety. They have adopted increasingly hardline tactics whilst demanding a completely unrealistic 35 per cent pay rise. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 13 April 2023
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