Healthcare :: BMA comment on the Health and Social Care Bill, UK

Commenting on the regulation aspects of the Health and Social Care Bill, as announced by the Prime Minister, BMA Chairman, Dr Hamish Meldrum, said:

?The BMA?s members have made it very clear that they are against using a balance of probabilities ? the civil standard of proof ? to take away a doctor?s livelihood. Nothing less than the criminal standard of proof ? beyond reasonable doubt ? is acceptable. This does not jeopardise patient safety but maintains a system in which both the public and the profession can have confidence that fairness and justice will be delivered.?

On the proposal to have a named person in every workplace to identify and handle cases of poor professional performance, Dr Meldrum added:

?On the surface this sounds very similar to the idea of GMC affiliates put forward in the Chief Medical Officer?s paper on medical regulation. We pointed out at the time that this was an unworkable idea and we suggested instead a regional network, rather than an employer based network, to improve clinical governance.

?The BMA is about to enter into discussions on the whole of the Government?s proposals for medical regulation. Patient safety is paramount, but if any future system is to work it has to have the confidence of the doctors being regulated. Our members will strongly oppose any proposal to use a lesser standard of proof when their whole career is on the line.?

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