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Case study: Medical Protection offers advice and support to member during an investigation

Post date: 26/06/2023 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 28/06/2023

An NHS consultant becomes involved in a Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) investigation.

Dr Francesca Soares, an NHS consultant obstetrician*, contacted Medical Protection for assistance with a Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) investigation. She had been involved in the care of a patient who had a high-risk pregnancy and had been admitted to the labour ward. Tragically, despite interventions, the patient suffered an intra-uterine foetal death.

As an obstetrician, Dr Soares had been involved in high-risk situations in the past, however, due to the sudden and unexpected outcome in this case and the resulting strain in the professional relationship with the patient and their family, she informed Medical Protection of the incident and requested assistance with preparing for the HSIB investigation and managing possible repercussions.

How Medical Protection assisted 

A case file was opened, and Dr Soares was given advice on how to draft a statement and assisted with finalising the statement that was submitted to the Trust, as well as prepare for the HSIB interview. 

Her assigned medicolegal consultant (MLC) signposted her to resources for wellbeing support available to her and involved Medical Protection’s press office to provide guidance regarding information that had been posted on social media about her. 

Her MLC also assisted her with drafting a reflective statement on the incident which was submitted to the Trust and subsequently used in her appraisal. The MLC also liaised with the medical director and clinical director of the Trust and attended and supported Dr Soares at a Trust meeting about the incident.

How was the statement received? 

Dr Soares’s statement and interview informed the HSIB and contributed to the final investigation outcome. 

Her MLC provided advice regarding conducting reflection and learning and identifying learning points from the incident which will inform her practice and departmental policy in the future. The Trust was satisfied with the reflective document she submitted and reviewed departmental policies to incorporate Dr F’s recommendations.

In order to recover from the ordeal, Dr Soares’s dedicated MLC helped her access Medical Protection resources to help her to manage the stress of the situation and her concurrent clinical responsibilities. 

Take aways

NHS consultants, while generally supported by their Trusts, are still able to receive advice from Medical Protection in relation to their statements and preparation for external investigations and on drafting witness statements, as part of their membership. As this case proves, the Trust may be unable to support employees with external investigations, whereas Medical Protection can offer advice and support tailored to the individual member. 

Dr Morenike Odanye, Medicolegal Consultant at Medical Protection


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*Names and locations have been changed to protect member confidentiality.


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