Cautionary Tales

Based on MDU members' calls to our medico-legal helpline, these cases provide a valuable opportunity for shared learning across a wide range of specialties and situations, as well as illustrating how we offer assistance to members when they need it most.

Accidental disclosure of patient information

Accidental disclosure of patient information

A GP received a complaint from a patient who'd instructed a solicitor to investigate a possible claim against their employer, following a work related injury.

Coroners case

Coroner's case

A GP was called to a coroner's inquest but was not identified as an 'interested party', and called the MDU for advice.

Death certification of COVID 19 patient

Death certification of COVID-19 patient

When a patient died at home following a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19, a GP called the MDU with questions about the death certificate.

Disclosure to the DVLA

Disclosure to the DVLA

The MDU helped an ST doctor with questions about the potential fitness to drive of a patient who offered conflicting histories.

Raising concerns about a colleague

Raising concerns about a colleague

After seeing a colleague drinking heavily before returning to work, a trainee wondered if they should raise a concern over risks to patient safety.

GMC investigation

GMC investigation over prescribing concern

After being notified about some potential prescription anomalies, the GMC wrote to a hospital consultant, who in turn called on the MDU for advice.

Storing digital images in medical records

Storing digital images in medical records

A GP needed the MDU's advice with questions surrounding confidentiality and data protection for a remote consultation.

Testamentary capacity

Testamentary capacity advice line dilemma

The MDU helped a consultant after they were approached by a solicitor acting on behalf of an elderly patient, who was making a will.

Whether to stop prescribing off-label drug

Whether to stop prescribing off-label drugs

A GP was concerned about the risks of stopping a patient's prescription for sodium valproate, and called the MDU for advice.

Anaesthetic block

Wrong side anaesthetic block

After being involved in an adverse incident, a trainee needed advice on what might happen next and what they should do to make amends.

Litigation Privilege

Litigation privilege

A consultant radiologist member called the MDU advice line to discuss a recent opinion he had been asked to provide for a patient's solicitor in the context of a clinical negligence claim.

allegations of abuse

Complaint from patient's partner over allegations of abuse

A patient visited her GP, extremely anxious about a forthcoming family court appearance that she was unwilling to attend.