MDDUS welcomes findings of Hamilton review

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: Thursday, 6 June 2019

Responding to the publication of the Independent review of gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide in medical practice, MDDUS joint head of medical division Dr John Holden said:

“We welcome the findings of Leslie Hamilton’s independent review and the recommendations that aim to encourage a just and fair culture for patients and doctors.

“We welcome endorsement of the Williams review recommendations to reform the Medical Act including removal of the GMC’s right of appeal of Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) decisions. Such reform is a far better use of scarce parliamentary time than current plans to regulate the medical defence organisations (MDOs) and will improve the fitness to practise process and ensure consensual disposal.

“Removing double jeopardy on appeals is an important step in rebuilding relationships between the profession and regulator and we support recommendations to put legislation that would remove the GMC’s right of appeal in place as soon as possible.

“We also strongly support the recommendation that doctors’ reflections should be given legal protection as this would prevent defensive practice and ensure an ongoing learning culture.

“We stressed in our consultation response that referral of gross negligence manslaughter cases by coroners should be made through the chief coroner. There must at all stages be genuinely independent accredited expert advice before any decision is made to make a regulatory referral or to trigger a police investigation, let alone to prosecute. Prosecution decisions need to follow the Scottish example and be made at a very senior level indeed, recognising the exceptional nature of the offence and the public interest issues.

“We are encouraged by the importance of education and training being highlighted within the review. We welcome the recommendation for a Scotland-wide approach to learning from Fatal Accident Inquiries and board’s SEARs as well.

“Finally, we are pleased to see recognition of the role MDOs play in supporting doctors through the investigative process. MDDUS continues to supports members through these difficult and stressful processes, providing peace of mind and representation from our team of expert medical advisers and lawyers.”

Ends

For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0333 0434444 or 07976 272266, or email rihendry@mddus.com.

Note to editors

MDDUS is the leading provider of GP indemnity in the UK with over 19,000 GP members. Founded in 1902, MDDUS is a mutual defence organisation offering expert medico-legal advice and professional indemnity for doctors and other healthcare professionals across the UK. After the introduction of the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice, GPs still need comprehensive protection that CNSGP alone won’t provide. The scheme will not cover GPs for non-NHS work, representation at inquests, GMC hearings and disciplinary investigations. Such situations can seriously impact upon a GP’s career and could ultimately result in them being struck off. The scheme will also not include advice and support – something highly prized by MDDUS members. It is therefore crucial that GPs have access to support and guidance from experienced medico-legal advisers. You can access our CNSGP information hub here.