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Risks associated with serious illnesses in children: introduction to MDDUS roundtable of experts

This month sees the release of the first of two MDDUS roundtable discussions centred on the risks associated with treating seriously ill children. This is a difficult area for doctors, and GPs in particular, as they will see several sick children in a surgery with common childhood illnesses, most of whom have no serious consequences.

  • 22 December 2014
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Managing risk: health issues in colleagues

Members often use this phrase to introduce a difficult subject and one of the most difficult to broach is that of concerns about a colleague. The GMC has made it clear that doctors have a duty to take steps when they have concerns about a colleague’s fitness to practise.

  • 16 December 2014
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Prescribing errors: short term and long-term risks

Prescribing errors constitute one of the top risk areas for general practice and account for 13 per cent of all GP claims reported to the MDDUS. The average cost of these claims is more than £12,000 and the harm caused by a misprescribed or unmonitored medication can be serious and long lasting.

  • 27 November 2014
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Medical errors: necessary fallibility!

In my last blog I highlighted the case of a missed lung cancer diagnosis where several GPs in the same practice failed to appreciate the potential seriousness of the presenting symptoms, leading to a delayed diagnosis, and ultimately a hastened death.

  • 27 November 2014
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Risks associated with poor knowledge of English addressed by new GMC powers

Until recently the GMC could do little where concerns were raised about the language skills of registered doctors. Recent changes in the Medical Act 1983, which came into effect on 25 June 2014, seek to address this omission.

  • 03 November 2014
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Diagnosis risks: playing the odds

A recent BBC health news headline trumpeted that doctors in Britain are “missing opportunities" to spot lung cancer at an early stage, meaning one in three people with the disease dies within 90 days of diagnosis.

  • 31 October 2014
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Risk reduction: monitoring of chronic diseases

Regular readers of our risk blogs will be aware by now that missed or delayed diagnoses are associated with a large proportion of medical negligence claims in general practice, as evidenced in the analysis of MDDUS case files.

  • 27 October 2014
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Reducing risk - making yourself available (in more ways than one)

Working on November’s video module – Human factor risks: team communication – had me reflecting on what being available and accessible to the healthcare team actually means for a clinician. Availability and accessibility can be fairly complex issues and a lack of clinician accessibility can influence risk. 

  • 23 October 2014
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Dealing with risk: island and remote practice

In a recent BMJ article (August 14) an A&E specialist worries about deskilling and loss of confidence in carrying out procedures that used to be routine, for instance in advanced airway management because anaesthetists are increasingly called in.

  • 02 October 2014
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Risk: What do tape measures and chickens have in common?

Psychologists have identified several reasons why as humans, we may make mistakes in our thought processes, even when we possess the knowledge and have the ability to think correctly.

  • 19 September 2014
  • Article
  • Risk articles