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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.
Skin cancer surgery
GPs risk legal action if they fail to follow GMC guidance – as well as NICE guidelines – when they treat skin cancers.
Secure patient data
Failure to adequately secure electronic medical records could present significant legal and professional risks for doctors.
New Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) legal guidance published last week warns that breaching death and cremation certification rules will no longer be regarded as a matter for professional regulation, to be dealt with by the GMC, but as a potential criminal offence.
Doctors who fail to offer appropriate and adequate guidance to patients seeking destination-specific holiday advice – in addition to the right vaccinations or prophylaxis – are risking a negligence claim.
Intimate examinations and non-English speakers
A recent case at MDDUS has highlighted the risks involving intimate examinations when the patient is a non-English speaker.