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Avoid unwarranted disclosure in referrals
There is much to digest in the new revised GMC guidance on patient confidentiality, and MDDUS encourages members to read the document carefully. One common pitfall in this area was highlighted in a recent call to our advice line.
High index of suspicion in skin lesions
MDDUS has seen a recent spate of potentially costly negligence claims involving missed or delayed diagnosis of malignant skin lesions including melanoma.
Reporting road traffic offences
DOCTORS must not hesitate to inform the GMC if they are charged with or convicted of a traffic offence.
Do not delay in suspected child abuse
Recent high-profile abuse cases including that of Baby P have highlighted the importance for healthcare professionals of taking urgent action in suspected maltreatment of children.
Altering medical notes
Doctors must take care when amending medical notes to avoid potential charges of evidence tampering.
New urgency for flu contingency plans
General medical and dental practices should move urgently to put in place contingency plans for pandemic flu if not already developed.
NHS indemnity insufficient
All doctors employed by the NHS should seriously consider the risks of not having the additional protection provided by MDDUS membership.
GPs should not police healthcare access
Prioritise the treatment of patients on the basis of need rather than considerations of legal eligibility.
Prescribing benzodiazepines outside guidelines risks scrutiny
Follow guidelines on prescribing opiate-containing products and benzodiazepines and related classes of drugs, and ensure your practice has a fail-safe method in place to monitor and review repeat prescribing of such drugs.
Throwing fireworks and other risky business
In October the GMC updated its guidance on reporting criminal and regulatory proceedings. Among the main changes was a clarification of doctors’ obligations to inform the GMC about fixed penalty notices for offences such as shoplifting, criminal damage and threatening behaviour.