Duty of candour

New rules to toughen transparency in NHS organisations have been announced by UK Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter, to apply from April 2013. NHS organisations will be required to tell patients if their safety has been compromised, apologise, and ensure that lessons are learned to prevent them from being repeated. The responses to the public consultation and …

Performance data on all surgeons in England will be published within two years

Ethics & Health Law News has reported an article from the most recent British Medical Journal regarding a National Health Service Mandate:League tables showing the results of individual surgeons working in the NHS in England are to be published within two years, the NHS’s medical director has announced.Bruce Keogh said that the move, backed by …

Health complaint numbers stablise

After five years of continuing increases in the number of inquiries and complaints to the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission, numbers stabilised in the 2011 2012 year.The annual report for that period is now available online. Legal changes are highlighted in the executive summary as follows:Several legal appeals against disciplinary decisions have resulted in more proceedings …

Vaccination ordered by Court

Earlier case examples exist of court orders for urgent vaccination in the context of disease exposure. More recently, the Family Court of Australia has refused to grant a mother an injunction against her former husband that would have prevented him taking their daughter to a doctor for routine vaccination. The mother expressed a preference for a …

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Bill

The Australian Government has released the draft National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Bill, ahead of its introduction into Parliament. An overview and the draft legislation is available online here. The Bill creates the framework for a national scheme, including eligibility criteria, age requirements, and what constitutes reasonable and necessary support. The announcement states: When the …

Medico-legal reporting & conduct complaints

The potential exposure to compensation claims of doctors who write medico-legal reports has yet to be revisited in Australia, since the English decision Jones v Kaney.However a recent decision from Western Australia highlights the potential for disciplinary action against doctors who demonstrate gross carelessness in the preparation of such reports. That was not the finding in …

Q Fever vaccination advice – the duty of a medical practitioner

Grinham v Tabro Meats [2012] VSC 491 required consideration of a general practitioner's obligations for a patient who attended for Q Fever vaccination.The patient sought vaccination but could not be vaccinated as certain pre-vaccination testing was inconclusive. The GP suggested that he return in a month for further testing, but the patient failed to do …