News in brief

FFLM diploma in legal medicine

The Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine (FFLM) has introduced a new qualification for people with an interest in legal medicine, but who don't meet the strict entry criteria for the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine's MFFLM qualification.

The Diploma in Legal Medicine is open to all candidates, and is aimed at those interested in gaining the qualification which might include medical and nursing examiners, clinical risk managers, expert witnesses, forensic nurses, paramedics and psychiatrists, coroners, responsible officers and many others with an interest in legal medicine. 

Successful candidates will gain the post-nominals DLM, although the qualification will not entitle them to undertake specific forensic or legal medicine work. Registered doctors who gain a distinction will be exempt from the first part of the MFFLM.

The qualification was developed by the FFLM, with input from the MDU and other medical defence organisations. 

Dr Caroline Fryar, MDU head of advisory services and lead examiner for the diploma, says, "The examination broadly reflects the first part of the MFFLM in terms of detail but will be marked at a lower level than the membership exam. It is designed to allow candidates to demonstrate an excellent grounding in the principles of legal medicine."

For details on applying, fees and an optional online training package, visit

GP Enterprise awards - still chance to vote

We are proud to continue our support of the GP Enterprise awards, which celebrates innovative new services or ways of working with the ultimate aim of improving patient care. 2014 has been yet another successful year, with over 100 entrants from primary care staff who have introduced an innovative service or procedure in their practice.

Hosted in conjunction with the RCGP, there are six award categories and each category winner benefits from a £1,000 prize and a commemorative plaque for their surgery. Watch out for your chance to vote for the overall favourite category winner on GP magazine and GP online, who will win a further £4,000 and the MDU Enterprise award. 

To find out more visit

Mental health crisis care concordat

The Department of Health and the Home Office have published a mental health crisis care concordat, a joint statement about how public services should work together to respond to people who are in mental health crisis. The document sets out the principles and good practice that should be followed by health staff, police officers and approved mental health professionals when working together to help people in a mental health crisis. It follows the refreshed Mandate for NHS England, which includes a new requirement for the NHS that "every community has plans to ensure no one in mental health crisis will be turned away from health services". It was signed by 22 national organisations including the RCGP, CQC, NHS England, social services and the police.

The concordat considers: 

  • access to support before crisis point
  • urgent and emergency access to crisis care
  • the right quality of treatment and care when in crisis
  • recovery and staying well, and preventing future crises.

The concordat is intended to serve as a joint statement of intent and common purpose, and of agreement and understanding about the roles and responsibilities of each service. It aims to help to make sure people who need immediate mental health support at a time of crisis get the right services when they need them, and get the help they need to move on and stay well.

The concordat draws attention to the fact that CQC monitors and inspects many of the care services that provide a response to people experiencing a mental health crisis, including general practices and primary medical services. It explains that how these services respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis will form part of the regulatory judgement that leads to a rating.

CQC is currently developing its new methodology for inspecting primary care and this is likely to be piloted over the spring and summer and rolled out from October. CQC will put a greater emphasis on inspecting and monitoring the care that people with mental health problems receive in the community, including during a crisis. It will develop tools and methods to ensure that consideration is given to the key issues for people experiencing a mental health crisis in the future as part of the new regulatory approach.

To read the concordat, visit the website.

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This page was correct at publication on . Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.


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