Medical Protection welcomes today’s letter by the General Medical Council (GMC), four health departments of the UK and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, addressed to doctors working to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The letter states that doctors, while expected to follow good medical practice, should be reassured that the regulator and others recognise the very challenging circumstances doctors are working in will require temporary changes to practice, and that regulators and others will take this into account.
Rob Hendry, Medical Director at Medical Protection, said:
“Doctors are on the front line and working in very challenging circumstances to combat the spread of COVID-19. These challenges will only increase as COVID-19 cases spread and it is vital that the profession is supported during this time.
“Doctors are used to giving their very best for their patients and expect to be flexible in the coming weeks and months.
“Today’s letter is welcome and it is vital that the wider healthcare system supports doctors and the wider healthcare team throughout this time”
“Some doctors have expressed concern they may be asked to undertake duties outside their speciality or scope to help treat patients in different ways and to contain COVID-19.
“Our advice for doctors asked to perform a duty outside their normal area of expertise is to assess whether they feel competent to proceed. If doctors feel that proceeding would place a patient at greater risk of harm than not undertaking the duty that has been requested, they should advise whoever has asked them to do so and explain – and record – their concerns.
“With the continued spread of COVID-19, we know this is a worrying time, particularly for healthcare practitioners who are providing frontline services. We urge all healthcare practitioners to follow official advice from the Government website.
Notes to editors
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The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”) is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. Membership provides access to expert advice and support and can also provide, depending on the type of membership required, the right to request indemnity for any complaints or claims arising from professional practice.
Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.
Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.
MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.