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Headlines and deadlines

MPS position statement: Teleradiology

Teleradiology is the process whereby an image is taken in one location and then transmitted to another for reading, analysis, interpretation and provision of a report by the radiologist at the other location.

Members are expected to advise MPS if they are participating in teleradiology and restrict the practice to their respective local jurisdiction. If an indemnity risk arises from that practice then the appropriate grade for that jurisdiction will be charged.

Members should not assume that their current MPS membership will offer such an indemnity

Members who wish to practise teleradiology in circumstances where the image is taken in another jurisdiction must both be appropriately registered and have professional indemnity cover in the jurisdiction where the image is taken. MPS may be able to offer benefits of membership in these circumstances and members should contact MPS for advice. Members should not assume that their current MPS membership will offer such an indemnity.

Good Medical Practice under review

The GMC is reviewing its core guidance for all UK doctors, Good Medical Practice. At the time of printing, the consultation on the proposed standards for doctors is open and closes on 10 February.

The new measures cover:

  • Protecting vulnerable adults and children
  • Taking responsibility for continuity of care, if you’re the lead clinician
  • Online behaviour and the use of social networking sites
  • Considering a patient’s broader history, including spiritual, religious, psychological, social and cultural factors
  • Encouraging patients to stay in or return to employment or another purposeful activity
  • Taking prompt action to deal with problems with basic care.

More information on the status of the guidance can be found at:

Practitioners suspended for shorter periods, says NCAS

Practitioners are being suspended or excluded for shorter periods, according to the National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS).

  • An estimated 5,870 working weeks were lost in 2010/11 compared with 6,850 weeks lost in 2009/10 (14% reduction).
  • Since 2005 there have been more episodes of suspension or exclusion, but faster resolution.
  • For exclusions of hospital and community doctors ending in 2010/11, the average duration was 21 weeks, compared with 23 weeks in 2009/10.
  • GP suspensions lasted an average of 35 weeks in 2010/11, compared with 44 weeks in 2009/10.
GP suspensions lasted an average of 35 weeks in 2010/11

NCAS is currently part of the NPSA, but this is due to close in early 2012. NCAS will be hosted by NICE from April 2012 to March 2013.

Guidelines on new patient choices

From April 2012, all NHS providers of care will have to accept all clinically appropriate referrals to named hospital consultant-led teams.

The choice applies to a first outpatient appointment for elective care, where clinically appropriate. In addition, NHS providers will have to publish relevant information about their consultants and the services they provide. There will be no geographical boundaries imposed on referrals. Guidance is available here

RCN changes to indemnity scheme

The Royal College of Nursing has published some FAQs outlining changes it is making to its indemnity scheme for nurses from 1 January 2012. The change will mean that indemnity cover for work undertaken by an employed member in general practice will, from 1 January 2012, be provided by the employer. The costs of any clinical negligence action will fall on the employer and his/her indemnity provider, not on the RCN scheme.

Law to protect whistleblowers

Health professionals who blow the whistle are now legally protected, under changes to the NHS Constitution announced by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

Health professionals who blow the whistle are now legally protected

Health workers now have a duty to report bad practice or any mistreatment of patients receiving care. The changes reflect the poor care exposed by the Care Quality Commission in October after unannounced inspections of 100 NHS hospitals.

NICE Guidance Watch


  • Epilepsy
  • Breast reconstruction using lipomodelling, and deep brain stimulation for refractory epilepsy


  • Immunotherapy pharmalgen for venom anaphylaxis, exenatide for type 2 diabetes, ranibizumab for macular oedema, ipilimumab for stage III or IV melanoma, tocilizumab for rheumatoid arthritis, belimumab for active systemic lupus erythematosus


  • Prevention and control of HAI in primary and community care
  • Pipeline embolisation device for the treatment of complex intracranial aneurysms
  • Percutaneous laser atherectomy for peripheral arterial disease
  • Balloon dilatation of subglottic stenosis


  • Long-term rehabilitation and support of stroke patients
  • Micropressure therapy for refractory Ménière’s disease
  • Incisionless otoplasty
  • Focal therapy using cryoablation for localised prostate cancer.
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