Five must-reads of the week
What’s going on with Jeremy Hunt?
Jeremy Hunt SUO
After being health secretary for so many years, you would have thought Jeremy Hunt would be a known quantity. But he has continued to surprise after his reappointment.
First, there was his intervention in the case involving Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba. He forced the GMC onto the back foot after saying he was ‘perplexed’ that the regulator acted as it did. Then, he ordered a ‘rapid review’ into use of manslaughter charges so doctors ‘know where they stand’.
Following that, Mr Hunt defended the health service from President Donald Trump, saying ‘The NHS may have challenges but I’m proud to be from the country that invented universal coverage.’ And to top all of this off, last week he ordered a review into ‘reinvigorating’ the partnership model of general practice, probably the biggest existential problem the profession faces.
I don’t know what Theresa May did with the old Jeremy Hunt when she met him in Downing Street, but we are liking her work.
‘Don’t blame us’, says the GMC
dr hadzia bawa garba ptp 03 paul tonge 3×2
The Bawa-Garba case continues to make headlines, with the GMC desperately trying to claw back its reputation among doctors. On Monday, it hit back against claims it was ‘discriminatory’, saying that this allegation was both ‘troubling and without merit’.
Then yesterday GMC chief executive wrote to the House of Commons Health Committee to defend its decision to take its own tribunal to the High Court, saying its track record proves it is using its right to appeal ‘appropriately’. The regulator has been successful in 80% of appeals against the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service since obtaining the right in 2015, and 100% of appeals regarding fitness to practise.
Charley Massey argued that ‘this implies we are using our right of appeal appropriately’. But you could argue that this just proves they have been spending an awful lot on very good lawyers.
MDOs ruin Valentine’s
Valentine’s Day – 3×2
Medical defence body the MDU has decided to instruct doctors to not hug patients on Valentine’s Day (well, on any day, in fact) even if they are upset. Their rationale is that ‘this can trigger a complaint or even lead to an investigation by the GMC or the police’. Instead, they recommend offering patients your hand.
Although the Pulse commenters were on hand to offer some alternative advice, such as: ‘Avoid reaching into their underwear and fondling their genitals while lining up Barry White mood music on your smartphone. Only the FINEST common sense Below The Line at Pulse.’
Thanks for the clarification, Monty.
Quote of the week
‘I understand that patients carry around with them variable quantities of removable ballast, clothes on the outside and other materials in various internal voids. Shifts in these make super accurate scales pointless.’
Dr Paul Cundy gets stuck into a weighty problem