Sunday, 29 November 2009
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Hospital Doctor presents largely a one sided view of the Gideon Lauffer case. Nevertheless, it is well written and can be read here. As a brief introduction, this is what Hospital Doctor recently said
"A consultant surgeon dismissed by his trust has won a high court battle to set aside the dismissal and force his employer to hold a full investigation and hearing into its allegations against him.
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University NHS Trust dismissed Mr Gideon Lauffer, on 25 June 2009, after claiming to have lost trust and confidence in him.
Mr Lauffer, with the Medical Protection Society’s representation, took the trust to the high court and on 10 August was granted an interim injunction.
The court decided that the surgeon’s dismissal breached contractual disciplinary procedures and ordered the trust to continue treating him as an employee.
The judge, Mr Justice Holroyde, said that by not following the proper procedures set out in Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS (MHPS) the trust had arguably unfairly denied Mr Lauffer the opportunity to respond to criticisms and the chance to clear his name"
The Daily Mail has a different spin on the situation. This is what they say
A surgeon alleged to have botched operations on patients over a 10-year period - resulting in at least four deaths - is under investigation by the General Medical Council.
Last night a lawyer representing relatives of one of the dead expressed fears that many more patients may have died or been harmed after surgery by consultant Gideon Lauffer.
The GMC suspended him last month after the deaths of two patients last year and is understood to be preparing to review operations stretching back many years.
Anyhow, the landmark judgment can be downloaded from here. We are one of the only publications to host this judgment. Please feel free to circulate and download. In the interim, we hope innocent doctors make use of this judgment.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
The judgment for this case can be downloaded here.
The summary of this case according to Old Square Chambers is as follows
Read the full article here.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Losing temper as a result of post-traumatic disorder means poor working ability.
Distressed men are more likely to offend and a startling number are in prisons and on probation. Twice as many as serving on the front! These are UK data. Neglect of these men is quite astonishing.
Meanwhile, there are unemployed psychiatrists in UK who are not allowed to work because regulatory authorities have been too preoccupied defending religion or incompetent NHS management instead of good medical practice. In other words whistleblowers cannot work while soldiers returning from the front are killing themselves.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
A new study has criticised the training of junior doctors. The Telegraph presents an interesting summary.
Interview with specialist registrars and consultants said new medics were especially unprepared in "clinical and practical skills and the more challenging communication skills".
The research was published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal.
This raises further future questions about appraisals, the rate of referrals to the General Medical Council and revalidation. How many doctors are going to have their license revoked in the future. This raises further questions about the effectiveness of Modernising Medical Careers [MMC] Clearly, the microscope should be placed on this training system. Remedy UK has long argued that the MMC has placed patients at risk. They now appear to be right. The architects of the MMC are directly responsible for creating a system that is clearly failing doctors and patients.
Medical News Today.
Monday, 9 November 2009
Source - Penningtons.co.uk
This involved an appeal against the decision of the General Medical Council's Fitness to Practise Panel (FTPP) that the doctor's fitness to practise was impaired by reason of misconduct and ordering his erasure from the register.
The court held that 'the requirement under the Act is that there are two 'steps': the panel must consider whether there has been misconduct and further whether that misconduct is such as to impair fitness to practise. Whilst misconduct is about the past, impairment is an assessment addressed to the future albeit made in the context of past misconduct'. It was held that the FTPP had considered both issues and found, broadly, that one and the same facts gave rise to the misconduct and the impairment. The approach was not erroneous as a matter of law.
Download the case here.
Saturday, 7 November 2009
"Alan Johnson accused Professor Nutt of becoming political with his statements, in fact what he said prior to his sacking was simply a well rehearsed and well researched scientific argument that was backed up by solid evidence. All of Brown and Johnson's comments on drugs have merely shown an immense lack of understanding of the evidence and a pathetic tendency to appeal to the lowest scaremongering sections of the tabloid press.
Skunk is not 'lethal' as fat Gordo stated, in fact by Johnson's logic Brown should resign as he is clearly straying into the scientific domain with this political statement. Johnson is just as bad as Brown with his illogical statements that he has released in order to justify the unjustifiable.
This is a simple issue and it comes down to the government having no balls. Brown is a weak incompetent leader who will do anything, no matter how wrong or dishonest, to win a few votes. Brown has routinely ignored experts on issues of which he and his fellow morons in power have no clue, he is too stupid to have any insight into his own lack of knowledge, he is a first class buffoon. This affair is not going away, it is about important principles, the resignations continue and I sincerely hope that it has done some good in exposing the rank stupidity and arrogance of those leading our country"
Google UK News.
Friday, 6 November 2009
The GMC Register once had 300,000 doctors. It has now dwindled down to 185,000 practicing doctors. So a mere 185,000 doctors now try and help a population of 61.4 million. Doctors are unhappy with the General Medical Council. The option of revalidation otherwise dubbed the "harassment" of doctors isn't going down well. Given this shortage of doctors in general, Rubin is trying to persuade the lower social classes into entering the esteemed medical profession. Is it esteemed anymore? Or is it an imprisonment of genuine people who would otherwise be free? Rubin tells the world that he was from a atypical background. He flaunts his father's personal history to tell us all " if I can do it, you can". The point here is this :- do we really want to be like Prof Rubin? Does any spotty teenager want to be a bald man with large ears who knows nothing about the real world.
"Research by the British Medical Association (BMA), the doctors' trade union, shows that just one in ten medical students comes from the three lowest socio-economic groups, far less than the 30% from such backgrounds in higher education overall. It estimates that by next year the average debt incurred by a graduate of a five or six-year medical degrees will rise to an average of £37,000 by next year, with those in London paying as much as £67,000"
One of the GMC blessed programmes encouraging those from a so called "lower social class" is the Extended Medical Degree Programme. This extended medical degree programme has recently been criticised by its students. The programme has been accused of being insulting to minority students by implying they are in some way a special needs section of medical school. Students were given psychometric tests to show if the experiments in social mobility were working.
Medical Students were subjected to the draconian processes as implemented by the General Medical Council. Again, Prof Rubin believes that any person in their right mind would opt to choose a profession where every segment of you is scrutinised.
This is what he says about Revalidation
"Rubin will certainly leave a major footprint in the sand of UK healthcare. His top priority is implementing the revalidation of all those 185,000 doctors. Although he describes it as "the biggest change to medical regulation since the GMC was established in 1858", revalidation has so far generated little controversy outside specialist medical publications – despite significant suspicion towards it among doctors. It will involve every doctor undergoing an annual 360-degree appraisal – with input from colleagues and patients – to prove their skills are up to scratch, and having to acquire, every five years, a fresh licence proving that they are fit to practice"This is what the Telegraph said about GMC Style hearings for medical students.
The issue was highlighted at the British Medical Association's annual representatives meeting after student Drew Kinmond said the numbers graduating with black marks against their name has increased from three per cent in 2006/7 to one in ten last year.
He told the conference in Liverpool: "Students are not doctors, we are still in training. There has to be a period of time where students can be students and learn what it takes to be a doctor. There has to be a period of time where we can make some mistakes.
"That is why students are not in charge of patient safety."
He said he supported disciplinary action in serious cases such as assaulting a patient or dealing drugs, but urged the rules to remain in proportion.
The General Medical Council has issued guidance on disciplinary matters at medical school in an attempt to standardise rules that apply to behaviour before graduation.
The guidance states: "Students must be aware that unprofessional behaviour during their medical course, or serious health issues that affect their fitness to practise, may result in the GMC refusing provisional registration.This is the case even if the circumstance in question occurred before or early on in medical school."
The medical schools can set their own rules and hold hearings when they are breached.
Students have been warned they face action for skipping bus fares, setting off fire alarms, damaging carpets and floors, playing loud music, being impolite, not filling out forms on teacher feedback, parking violations, and attendance.
Professor Rubin also misses out the fact that hundreds of doctors are prevented from working due to the GMC's draconian Interim Order Panel. Having got rid of the usual good doctors in the NHS, Rubin wants to get in new blood. Well, one cannot expect any less from the man referred to as Count Rubin.
When I telephoned Public Concern at Work I found they are not really independent in the sense that they have contracts with NHS Trusts.
They protested that I did not understand that they really do provide independent advice.
It seemed reasonable to test them.
Naturally, PCaW are confident that they have been able to help other people raise their concerns.
Department of Health has been informed numerous times they are in breach of Human Rights e.g.
Article 9 Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
2 Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
It is the response that is required. The policy on the wearing of uniforms in mental health is faulty, but it can be corrected.
What is responsibility? One way to define it is the ability to respond. According to that definition there are some people in the Department of Health who appear to lack that ability.
Meanwhile, of those raped men who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder, some would kill themselves and some would kill others.
Post-traumatic stress can cause violence in extreme form.
I am a doctor who raised my concerns appropriately, at the right time to the right people in the authority and discovered an awful lot of irresponsible people. When I read about the recent shooting at the largest military base in USA I wondered if the faults were made because of "political correctness".
My impression of military psychiatrists is that one has to be the darling of establishment to do the job. In UK, the rate of PTSD is about ten times less than in USA in military personnel. Do we really, think that British man is the strongest in the world? Or do we think some of the British psychiatrists are the weakest in the world? Diagnostic criteria are international. Human Rights are international too but it is the application that matters.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has refused to issue the guidance on the wearing of religious uniforms in psychiatry and they have Spiritual Section contrary to their own regulations. Psychiatrists are very well aware on how they can limit the power of the patients and also how to keep status quo in their own interests. Traumatised people guarantee good business for many generations of psychiatrists to come, assuming public continued to maintain them. But the public will not do so. It already has cheaper options to use.
Laws are of no importance, I conclude, in the case of the wearing of religious uniforms because British judges are not willing to protect the whistleblowers and are not acting independently of religion or government.
Meanwhile, the government funded PCaW help line will be just another window dressing exercise. PCaW supports the government, not whistleblowers or the patients or the public.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
An outline of Justice in Health Network (JIHN)
We desire an efficient, sedulous, and well run, NHS that is both democratic and accountable, and to bring about beneficial change in medical services, and social care.
We endeavour to facilitate an independent, informed, and coordinated, voice on health policy issues.
From time to time, we hold conferences to promote debate on issues relevant to a wide cross section of health service users, and to encourage and inform public involvement.
We wish to support positive action to improve health services, but will be critical where that is appropriate. We endeavour to do this from an informed viewpoint, to propose possible solutions in a spirit of engagement and co-operation, and to do no harm.
In addition to general networking and other activities, we are currently :-
a) Opening and developing a lines of communication and dialogue between the Network, members and participants, and the health unions, regulators, and other influential bodies.
b) Exploring opportunities to bring about a co-ordinated approach on health issues.
Justice in Health Network, March 2009
Justice in Health Network
Park Cottage, Portsmouth Road, Esher, Surrey KT10 9JF
Tel: 07973 834 012 Email: email@example.com