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MPS opposes new criminal sanctions and urges government rethink

The Medical Protection Society is calling on the government to rethink plans to introduce a new criminal offence for healthcare professionals for wilful neglect or ill-treatment.

In a response to the government’s consultation, MPS argues strongly that there is no justification for new legislation and believes that it will only add to the climate of fear.

The current regulatory, disciplinary and criminal framework when applied properly is effective at ensuring doctors face the consequences of their actions and additional penalties are not needed

Dr Nick Clements, Head of Medical Services at MPS, said: “MPS opposes the introduction of new criminal sanctions against healthcare professionals for wilful neglect or ill-treatment. We believe the proposed legislation is illconsidered, unnecessary and will undermine the drive for more openness with patients.

“The current regulatory, disciplinary and criminal framework when applied properly is effective at ensuring doctors face the consequences of their actions and additional penalties are not needed.

“With these proposals, the government has focused too much on penalising doctors and not enough on providing the support that can bring about genuine change. We believe that these sanctions will obstruct the muchneeded open and transparent learning culture and will add to the current climate of fear amongst doctors. MPS urges the government to rethink.”

Read MPS’s full response here >>

MPS Alert

MPS alert

Please call the MPS helpline if you’ve made any changes to your professional status. Whether you’re a GP or a nonclinical person, please call the helpline to make sure you have the appropriate indemnity in place, either supplied by your employer or arranged by you through MPS.

Do not wait for your membership subscription renewal, call MPS on 0845 718 7187 (Monday-Friday: 8am to 6:30pm) as soon as you take on new responsibility or a new role.


The latest version of Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competences for Health Care Staff has been jointly published by the Royal Colleges and professional bodies. This revised version emphasises the role of executive teams and board members, while also taking into account the structural changes which have occurred across the NHS. The framework is applicable across all four countries of the UK and sets the standards and requirements expected of all health staff.

Legal update

The NHS Revalidation Support Team has issued a briefing note on Responsible officer conflict of interest or appearance of bias. Request to appoint an alternative responsible officer. The briefing explains the process to be used by designated bodies where a conflict of interest or appearance of bias exists between a responsible officer and a doctor.

Source: NHS

Controlled drugs

According to the BMA GPs Committee some CCGs are informing GPs they cannot put Controlled Drugs on repeat prescriptions – this is incorrect. There appears to be some confusion by only reading the first sentence of the NPC’s guide. CCGs are confusing repeat prescribing within a clinical context (ie, as every GP would understand it) with a “repeatable prescription”, which is defined in the Pharmaceutical Services Regulations.

Source: BMA GPs Committee

Scottish guidance

The Scottish Government has published a report on the results of its consultation on recommendations for no-fault compensation in Scotland for injuries resulting from clinical treatment. The report provides an analysis of the responses received and also sets out the Scottish Government’s proposed way forward.

Source: Scottish Government


Pulse Live

This year’s agenda provides a stimulating mix of plenary and keynote sessions and three conference streams tailored to the learning needs of GPs and practice managers.

MPS GP Conference: GPs at the Heart of Patient Safety

At this time of great change and challenge, MPS’s annual conference offers delegates the opportunity to pause and reflect on their pivotal role in providing high quality and safe care.

RCGP Annual Primary Care Conference

The theme is ‘Futureproof: resilience in practice’, how can we or how are we working towards strong, resilient general practice for the future, providing the best possible practice and outcomes for patients?

Management in Practice

This event covers all the issues that impact on the management of primary care practices, including: commissioning, legislation, IT, HR, finance and more.

MPS HR and Employment Law Seminars

These half day seminars are aimed at practice managers and will give you the tools you need to tackle HR and Employment Law more effectively.

MPS Practice Management Seminars

These seminars have been developed to help guide you through the minefield of patient safety and complaints. The day will be very practical and interactive, giving you the tools to take back to your practice.

  • When: Throughout the year
  • Where: Gloucester, Surrey, London, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh, and Nottingham
  • More: