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When the police come knocking….

Medical practices and hospitals hold vast amounts of personal data. When the police are investigating crime they frequently seek access to medical records to obtain information that could assist their enquiries.

  • 03 February 2015
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Risk reduction: prioritisation, delegation and communication

Winter is always a busy time for the NHS. However, this year seems to be particularly bad and the public are bombarded with news of over-crowded A&E departments and patients waiting for hours in ambulances and corridors to be seen by a doctor.

  • 26 January 2015
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Risk reduction: stopping medicines when patients default from review

In a previous blog I illustrated the importance of robust processes that ensure any patient with a condition requiring clinical monitoring is added to practice recall systems, so that an alert is prompted should they fail to attend for review.

  • 21 January 2015
  • Article
  • Risk articles

GP trainees – asset or risk

Consider this scenario – a patient complains to their GP that their lung cancer diagnosis was delayed. In the subsequent significant event analysis the practice discovers that the trainee doctor involved in their care was unaware of NICE guidelines on early investigation of cancers, including lung cancer.

  • 09 January 2015
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Reducing risk: young people welcome here!

A recent report published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre highlighted that the number of children (10 –14 year olds) being admitted to hospital in England for self-harm is at a five-year high, with admissions of girls increasing by almost 93 per cent and a rise of 45 per cent in boys.

  • 06 January 2015
  • Article
  • Risk articles

Confidentiality risks: disclosure without consent

Issues around confidentiality still feature commonly among calls to our advice line and some recent cases have highlighted complexities with regard to sharing patient information with third parties.

  • 06 January 2015
  • Article
  • Risk articles

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