Important steps taken to support doctors in second Covid-19 wave

Medical defence specialist MDDUS today welcomed a joint statement that implements changes it has called for to ensure complaints and claims against doctors tackling the virus are dealt with fairly after Covid-19

The statement issued by regulators, NHS leaders and the medical royal colleges addresses many of the concerns MDDUS raised in the spring, especially the urgent need to protect fairly the professional interests of doctors facing a health emergency none had experienced before.

Dr John Holden, MDDUS head of medical division, said: “I am pleased to see this statement address the critical issues we have been advocating for change on, including an explicit statement that consideration will be given to actions taken by doctors working under difficult circumstances or outside their usual scope of practice.

“Importantly, it also states that healthcare professional regulators, including the GMC, will ‘take into account factors relevant to the Covid-19 environment’ when considering any investigation or action. Another key element of the changes we have been seeking.”

Chris Kenny, chief executive of MDDUS, said: “We welcome this guidance and its recognition of the stresses and challenges doctors face tackling Covid-19 today.

“We hope it will also preserve the collective memory of the pandemic experience when complaints, claims or regulatory issues arise later.”