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News round up

International conference logMPS international conference

On 15-16 November 2012, MPS will be holding its first International Conference, Quality and Safety in Healthcare: Making a Difference, at Church House Conference Centre, Westminster, London.

While healthcare has become highly effective, improvements in safety has lagged behind. The conference will bring together international experts from around the world to share their knowledge, experience and expertise on quality and safety.

Themes will include: what quality means; patient experience; achieving a safety culture; and will ask the questions is quality affordable and where is the place for professionalism?

Keynote speakers confirmed include:

  • Dr Carol Haraden, Vice President, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), on Achieving a Safety Culture
  • Dr Lucian Leape, Adjunct Professor of Health Policy, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health on Disclosure and Apology: It’s not about the Money
  • Professor David Studdert, Professor and ARC Laureate Fellow, Melbourne Law School, on Reliable Prediction of Doctors’ Medicolegal Risk – Can it be Done?

For more information and to book online visit: www.mpsinternationalconference.org

Now wash your hands, doctors are told

Doctors are being reminded to practise hand hygiene to avoid causing their patients harm and to protect themselves.

Doctors can play a big role in helping to stop the spread of infection

President of the IMO, Dr Paul McKeown, has pledged his organisation’s support for the HSE’s hand hygiene campaign, acknowledging that doctors can play a big role in helping to stop the spread of infection.

He said: “We medical practitioners have always operated from the principle of ‘Primum non nocere’ – first do no harm. We should aim to ensure that our hand hygiene practices are such that we are never responsible for transmitting infection between our patients.”

Ireland has the highest level of vancomycin-resistant enterococci in Europe and hand hygiene is vital to help prevent the spread of such infections.

He added: “It is a simple, low-cost intervention that effectively prevents the spread of healthcare-associated infections and is one of the most important actions any doctor can take in protecting the health of his/her patients. In addition, proper hand hygiene protects doctors from infection in the clinical environment.”

www.imt.ie

Medical Council considers late payment fee

The Medical Council is considering introducing a fee for doctors who do not pay their registration fees on time.

President of the Medical Council, Professor Kieran Murphy, said that in 2011, just 55% of doctors paid their annual retention fee by the 30 June deadline, causing the Council significant administrative costs in issuing reminders and processing fees past the deadline.

The Council has suggested that the annual retention fee for 2012/13 stays at €490, with an additional fee of €50 for those who do not pay on time.

Prof Murphy added: “The current fee structure, which does not include a penalty for late payment, means that fees collected from doctors who interact with the Medical Council in a timely, efficient and effective manner are diverted from core functions to following up with doctors who do not present fees on time.”

Under the new proposals, all doctors will be required to complete an application form in addition to the payment of the fee through which they will provide short and straightforward information about continuing practice, and also provide a declaration that they are maintaining their professional competence in line with Medical Council requirements.

The consultation for the Council’s new draft rules for its annual retention process closed on 10 May 2012.

www.medicalcouncil.ie

All doctors will be required to complete an application form in addition to the payment of the fee

Working for change to protect your interests

Not only does MPS support doctors when things go wrong, we also closely monitor the regulatory environment and make representations to decision-making bodies and parliamentarians to protect and promote our members’ interests.

Back in February, MPS hosted a reception in Dublin for stakeholders in healthcare, where we shared the organisation’s recent medical and dental claims experience, as well as the medicolegal challenges on the horizon in Ireland.

The reception, hosted by new MPS Chief Executive Simon Kayll, was held at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and attracted more than 70 important figures from the healthcare and legal arenas.

Raising concerns about patient safety is a professional responsibility and organisations must support staff who do so

Another major focus for us is on whistleblowing, and the need to create a culture of openness when reporting concerns. Raising concerns about patient safety is a professional responsibility and organisations must support staff who do so. MPS has campaigned over the last few years to promote greater openness between healthcare professionals and patients when things go wrong.

Such openness must also apply when healthcare staff report patient safety concerns. We provide a confidential helpline for all members, who can contact us when dealing with issues surrounding whistleblowing.

We are calling for a culture of early identification of concerns to maximise opportunities to prevent patient safety incidents

MPS actively encourages doctors in these situations to seek advice and guidance. We are calling for a culture of early identification of concerns to maximise opportunities to prevent patient safety incidents; organisations to play an active role in providing support, training and mentorship to staff in raising concerns; and an open culture that encourages and rewards doctors to fulfil their professional responsibilities.

The government has announced its intention to publish proposed legislation dealing with the protection of whistleblowers this summer – we will be closely monitoring developments.

MPS introduces recording for membership calls

As MPS grows in size and complexity, it is important that members receive a consistently high standard of service.

Since Monday 21 May, all incoming calls to the dedicated Membership Services number, 1800 509 441, may be recorded for monitoring and training purposes.

You will hear a recorded message announcement prior to the call being answered in Membership Services alerting you to the changes.

Calls to the central Switchboard number and for medicolegal advice will not be recorded.

Did you know?

MPS produces a wide range of factsheets and booklets that are all available to download from our website to use as a handy reference guide whenever you have a medicolegal query.

The factsheets are snapshots of key medicolegal themes – the top five that members found most useful in 2011 were:

MPS produces a wide range of factsheets and booklets that are all available to download from our website to use as a handy reference guide
Our booklets provide a more detailed look at key themes. Avoiding easy mistakes: Five medicolegal hazards for interns and SHOs focuses on the problems you might encounter the most during your first few years, alongside troubleshooting tips.

Meet your regional membership co-ordinator: Rachel Lynch

Rachel has worked in the marketing Department at MPS for almost ten years: “I regularly visit medical schools and hospitals to talk to members and arrange medicolegal events for some of the professional organisations in Ireland, including the Royal Colleges.

“If you are organising a teaching event, training day or conference, then you can contact me to help arrange sponsorship or a speaker.”

Contact her on 087 2867491 or at rachel.lynch@mps.org.uk

MPS Mastering series of workshops

New dates are now available for the MPS Mastering series of communication skills workshops. The following three-hour workshops are available and are free for MPS members to attend.

Mastering Your Risk

Provides practical tools, tips and strategies to improve communication behaviour and effectively manage patient expectations.

Mastering Adverse Outcomes

Covers the effective and ethical management of patient care following an adverse outcome.

Mastering Professional Interactions

Examines communication breakdown between doctors and introduces effective strategies to reduce the associated risk of patient harm.

Mastering Difficult Interactions with Patients

Explores the causes of difficult interactions and provides techniques to effectively handle these situations.

Mastering Shared Decision Making – new for 2012

Learn how to assist patients in making appropriate and informed choices, therefore reducing the risk of patient dissatisfaction.

For further information, including forthcoming dates and online booking, please visit the workshops section of the website.

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