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Casebook - January 2012 Vol. 20 no. 1

The impact of the global recession continues to be felt in many jurisdictions where MPS operates and the consequences of rising costs in clinical negligence claims will be felt ever more keenly.

Although the medical profession can offer a financially rewarding career, no-one is immune to the kind of cost increases that cause a health practitioner to question the affordability of their medical indemnity. But increases in claims costs, together with an increase in the number of claims – which are continuing seemingly unabated, particularly in the UK, South Africa and Ireland – make this scenario more realistic.

Depersonalisation of the doctor–patient relationship, higher patient expectations, errors from working in high stress environments with stretched resources; these are all real issues that face each of you every day

Many members contact us in dismay that they seem to be feeling the hand of the regulator more often than ever before. We have attempted to identify the reasons why claims and complaints are on the rise – depersonalisation of the doctor–patient relationship, higher patient expectations, errors from working in high stress environments with stretched resources; these are all real issues that face each of you every day.

This is where we hope that Casebook has a part to play. No-one can stop all claims from occurring but we can help to highlight what you can do to ensure that you have a robust defence at your disposal.

I do hope that you find Casebook, and the other range of medicolegal publications that MPS produces, to be sufficiently supportive in these trying times. Please get in touch with any comments or suggestions; it is really helpful to receive your feedback.

Dr Stephanie Bown 
Editor-in-chief
MPS Director of Policy and Communications

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Disclaimer: All information in this issue is correct at time of publishing (January 2012). However, in "A duty to treat…and to tell?” Casebook (Vol 20, Issue 1), we state that GPs can electronically tag firearms ownership on a patient’s medical records and that the BMA supports this policy. However, the BMA states that: “Advice from the Information Commissioner’s Office indicates that holding this data would be in contravention of the Data Protection Act and electronic tags should therefore not be used for this purpose.”