GP online has quoted the MDU in advocating that the bar should be raised for investigating gross negligence (GNM) in cases that are the "medical equivalent of driving down the wrong side of the motorway'.
Following the high profile case of Dr Bawa-Garba, clarity is required as to how the GMC, Coroners and the criminal courts investigate doctors for GNM. The figures quoted are that more than nine in 10 cases currently investigated do not lead to a prosecution, yet doctors are often suspended and treated like criminals pending a lengthy investigation process. This is concerning at a time when doctors feel increasingly under pressure.
It is interesting to note that, in Scotland, there is apparently no known case where a doctor has been successfully prosecuted for an equivalent offence of GNM. It will be interesting to see if a Scottish model is followed.
I also welcome clarity for doctors as to how their reflections will be protected, which is currently not the case. We have received a number of enquires about this very issue from doctors following the Bawa-Garba case.
The bar should be raised to ensure that doctors are only invesigated for gross negligence manslaughter (GNM) in cases that are the 'medical equivalent of driving down the wrong side of the motorway', the Medical Defence Union(MDU) has warned.