The Dean's blog

Dr Bawa-Garba – take home message - February 2018

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Many of you may have heard about the recent ruling from the High Court in the case of General Medical Council versus Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, which has been covered in the press and social media.  This case has caused anxiety and concern within the medical profession and it is important for all to pause, and reflect on what this means for us all, whether medical students or practitioners across medicine and healthcare.

The focus here is not to comment specifically on the clinical or legal aspects of the case, which are covered in detail elsewhere, but to reflect about important practices that are central to safe healthcare for all patients.

In sending this note I have attended a face to face meeting with the GMC last week where this was discussed in detail and sought input from local expertise – Richard Fuller, Director MB ChB programme; Jane O’Hara, Associate Professor in Patient safety and Improvement Science; Jonathan Fistein, Associate Professor in Clinical Informatics – for which I am very grateful.

Patient safety is an essential component of your MBChB degrees, spanning IDEALS, SAFER and clinical practice, and I would like to remind all staff and students of some key messages.

Within the Faculty of Medicine & Health, we remain completely committed to supporting our students and staff to operate within a culture of openness and transparency in terms of the reporting of patient safety concerns, adverse events, and unsafe working conditions.

This transparency recognises the importance of system, and individual, factors in contributing to adverse safety events.  This is coupled with a need to reflect both at an individual and organisational level to learn from such events, and make changes to reduce harm to patients.

Across the Faculty and clinical placements, we recognise that how our students feel about reporting safety events and learning from them, will be shaped by their experiences in the clinical environments in which they train.  To this end, we continue to work with those providing supervision on placements to support our commitment to openness in the reporting of, and learning from safety events, to ensure that students raising concerns can be sure to be treated fairly and their issues dealt with constructively.

For many years, we have operated a ‘traffic light’ system for students to report patient safety concerns on placements, which has been shown to provide a safe space for supportive action from the MBChB.  We would like to reiterate here that if students have witnessed safety events, or wish to flag unsafe working conditions or poor supervision, this is the forum within which support can be provided and concerns shared confidentially, allowing the medical school to work with senior clinical staff to investigate and improve care.

We would also like to emphasise the message from bodies including the GMC and medical defence organisations; reflecting on your experiences in practice is a very important way of learning and developing as a doctor, and of ultimately contributing to improved safety for patients.

Paul M Stewart
Dean of Medicine
Executive Dean Faculty of Medicine & Health

Pages in this document

  1. Dr Bawa-Garba – take home message - February 2018
  2. Expansion of the Medical workforce – how and why Leeds must help - January 2018
  3. To all our 5th years - a big thank you and a bigger request!
  4. Antimicrobial resistance – action needed now
  5. Brexit …. “primum non nocere” - March 2016
  6. What do I do when I qualify? General Practice, Generalism and Specialism - December 2015
  7. Coping with change - October 2015
  8. Exams, Drones and Hannah’s sweets - June 2015
  9. The added joys of life @ Leeds Medical School - March 2015
  10. The Year of the Sheep - February 2015
  11. Urgent message from the Dean - January 2015
  12. Turing, War of the Worlds and Christmas! - December 2014
  13. A face-lift for Worsley – the home of the Medical & Dental Schools at The University of Leeds - October 2014
  14. Graduation and Student to Alumnus – we wont forget each other - July 2014
  15. Historical nuggets - June 2014
  16. Inaugural Lecture Series - March 2014
  17. Apples, Jobs and Private Medical Schools - February 2014
  18. Home for Christmas? - December 2013
  19. Greenaway, Lifestyle and the Ashes - November 2013
  20. Leeds and Leadership, October 2013
  21. Welcome from the Dean