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RCGP to discuss ‘feasibility’ of reflections in light of Dr Bawa-Garba case

The RCGP will be discussing the ‘feasibility’ of reflections for training purposes at its next council meeting, after a junior doctor was struck off the medical register.

The RCGP will discuss a motion put forward by GPs in the Wessex faculty to ‘consider the patient safety, ethical and legal implications’ following the Dr Hazida Bawa-Garba case.

The motion asks that the council debate ‘the feasibility and process of honest reflection, documentation and meaningful learning for training and continuing professional development if the information may be used for litigation’.

It adds that the council should also discuss ‘the duties, obligations and practical steps a doctor needs to take when working in situations where there are significant patient safety concerns’.

The debate comes after the GMC won a High Court bid to strike off Dr Bawa-Garba from the medical register following her conviction of manslaughter.

The decision from the High Court raised concern among GPs as to whether their reflections, used in an e-portfolio, could be used against them in court.

Pulse revealed, in the case of Dr Bawa-Garba, that her reflections were never submitted to court, with the MPS – which represented Dr Bawa-Garba – encouraging all doctors to continue to engage in reflective practice.

The motion also urges the RCGP, along with the GMC, the DH, AoMRC, HEE and the BMA to work on new guidance and changes to legislation ‘to ensure an open culture of learning, quality improvement and patient safety’.

This comes after the health secretary ordered a ‘rapid review’ into the application of gross negligence manslaughter charges in medicine, which is scheduled to report back by April 2018.

The RCGP Council will meet later this month.