Is The GMC Told About Clinical Negligence Claims? -

Is The GMC Told About Clinical Negligence Claims?

Although doctors and hospitals will strive to avoid medical negligence claims whenever possible and usually try to provide an excellent standard of care to patients, there are some things they could do to improve safety standards.
Health and safety regulations say that staff and members of the public should not be put in any unnecessary danger, and the Department of Health says that NHS trusts are legally compelled to ensure that any doctors who work for them are “fit to practice”.
However, a recent investigation by the BBC’s 5 Live Investigates revealed that a number of hospitals are failing to share relevant information that could prevent patients being put in danger with other trusts.
Even though these hospitals had settled medical negligence compensation claims caused by the malpractice of a doctor, they are not informing the General Medical Council (GMC) about these incidents. This has seen potentially dangerous and negligent doctors working in NHS Trusts that are unaware of their history of clinical negligence claims. In some instances, doctors have been involved in as many as six separate unreported incidents.
These repeat mistakes put the public in danger and could lead to hospitals dealing with unnecessary clinical negligence claims and suffering reputational damage they could have avoided.
The issue occurs because, while trusts have to discipline members of staff who are found to have acted negligently, there are no requirements for these trusts to tell the GMC or the doctor’s future employers. Nonetheless, a Trust’s ‘responsible officer’ has a professional obligation to inform the GMC about any complaints or concerns that it has towards its doctors.
As a result, when 5 Live Investigates made a Freedom of Information request to 163 different UK NHS Hospital Trusts, it found that 13 admitted that in the last five years, they had not told the GMC about one or more doctors whose behaviour had resulted in clinical negligence compensation payouts.
For example, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust revealed more than two patient complaints had been received for a total of 42 doctors that worked for it, with 27 of these involved in medical negligence claims or other compensation payouts. However, the GMC was not informed about any of these cases.

Why is the GMC not being informed about clinical negligence claims?
According to the BBC, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust said that in the case of many clinical negligence claims, the cases are complicated and can involve a number of different staff members, while there are a variety of different reasons why these cases are settled.
It stated that in all of these different cases, there were no issues relating to the GMC and that had to be passed on to the employee’s future employers. Furthermore, the Trust said its policy contains a range of different ways in which concerns about the medical practice can be addressed, and only one of these involves GMC direct referrals.
Should I tell the GMC following my clinical negligence claim?
Medical negligence solicitors will advise you as to whether or not you should inform the GMC about your problem. However, the GMC is more than happy to receive reports about doctors and has a number of different complaints procedures you can go through if you wish to do so.
The GMC is mainly limited to dealing with serious cases that indicate a doctor’s fitness to remain in practice is questionable, but when it receives cases that don’t fall under this scope, it supplies the complaint to contracting bodies or employers for the medical professional in question. However, in less serious cases of clinical negligence, it can be more useful to speak to NHS help and advice centres to discuss what to do to bring sanctions against the professional.
It can be hard to objectively view a case of clinical negligence if you are the claimant and you may think that the people who were responsible for your injury inherently pose a risk to the public and should be struck off the record and forbidden from continuing in medicine. Medical negligence solicitors can help you understand if this is the case.
In incidents where breaches of health and safety regulations led to your injury, you may find it is more beneficial to contact the Health and Safety Executive instead of the GMC. This government body ensures that workplaces are as safe as possible for the general public as well as for staff and aims to reduce the number of people who die in the UK’s workforce.
Whatever the circumstances of your clinical negligence claim, medical negligence solicitors can help you reach a satisfactory conclusion and can help you contact other relevant bodies to ensure other people do not face the same injuries you do.
Chelsey Lewis has spent years looking into medical negligence compensation cases and other forms of mistreatment and poor service in the healthcare setting for a team of compensation claims for personal injury solicitors in Burnley. When she’s not working, she likes playing with his pet rats and listening to hip hop.
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