New guidance aimed at ensuring COVID-19 specific complaints against doctors are considered fairly has today been warmly welcomed by the medical defence organisation, MDDUS.
MDDUS represents more than 50,000 doctors and dentists throughout the UK. It has called on the UK government to commission an independent, expert advisory report to deliver recommendations to ministers, regulators, the judiciary, NHS employers and ombudsmen on how to deal with claims and complaints made in relation to the pandemic.
The defence organisation believes this measure would ensure these processes fairly reflect the unique and exceptional circumstances clinicians have been working in.
Chris Kenny, chief executive of MDDUS, said:
“We warmly welcome this pragmatic and timely new guidance from the GMC.
“Now we need the Government to step forward and ensure similar principles are applied in COVID-19 related criminal proceedings against doctors, and by other regulators and NHS employers.
“We were pleased to work with the GMC as they developed this guidance and it is gratifying to see it deliver on some of the important areas we believe need action by government.
“This guidance should ensure that patients are protected, while doctors who have been working on the frontline under unprecedented pressures are not left exposed.”
Dr John Holden, head of medical division at MDDUS, said:
“COVID-19 has placed unprecedented pressures on healthcare workers, many of whom have had to make very difficult decisions without support, outside their usual area of practice.
“This new guidance represents an important step toward ensuring complaints made against them are dealt with fairly, even when the collective memory of the height of the pandemic is forgotten.”