GMC medical manslaughter review calls for written evidence

The working group behind the GMC's gross negligence manslaughter (GNM) review has called for health professionals and the public to submit written evidence for its ongoing investigation.

The review - independently led but commissioned by the GMC in the wake of the Bawa-Garba case - will consider whether GNM cases properly take into account the role system pressures can play in cases when patients die. It will also examine how guidance and communication around reflective practice could be improved within the medical profession.

Dame Clare Marx, who is leading the review, and her 10-strong expert panel - including former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada - have invited written submissions from anyone who ‘may have insight which will help us shape our review and findings’.

This could include organisations or individuals who have experience, expertise or an interest in GNM or culpable homicide. The review has emphasised it is particularly interested in hearing from doctors in training. Submissions are being accepted until 27 July via an online questionnaire.

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Dame Clare said: ‘Our questionnaire covers all the main areas we are looking into, and so there are a lot of questions. People should answer as many or as few as they wish, but the more thoughts and ideas we receive the richer the evidence from which we will be able to prepare our report.

‘We’re also keen for people to put forward views and suggestions on anything they think is relevant but that we’ve not specifically covered in our general questions.’

The working group will also hear oral evidence sessions and hold workshops (including trainee-specific events) across the UK later this year.

Postcode lottery

Last month, GMC chief executive Charlie Massey warned that doctors faced a postcode lottery over GNM prosecutions - with wide variation in how the law was applied across the UK and within England.

Speaking to GPonline in February, Professor Gerada revealed that the GP Health Service she set up in 2017 to support doctors facing burnout and stress had seen 'many cases similar to that of Dr Bawa-Garba'. 'We have pointed out the disproportionate nature of some of the cases' she added.

Findings from the review will be published in early 2019.Click here to make a written submission to the Marx review.

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