Introduction from the medical editor

Dr Catherine Wills

This issue of Good Practice centres on two themes: meningitis claims and raising concerns.

Meningitis is, fortunately, relatively rare and most GPs will only see one or two cases in their career. But it is notoriously difficult to distinguish from other illnesses, and we see many claims arising from delayed diagnosis. In this journal Dr Sharmala Moodley, deputy head of claims, offers valuable insight into the incidence and outcomes of meningitis claims, and looks at the experience of members who have faced a claim.

When is it right to breach patient confidentiality and raise a concern? Test yourself with our raising concerns quiz. The advice line dilemmas examine the ethical issues and importance of raising concerns when dealing with young patients, and provide some useful learning points.

Also in this issue, our newest member of the medical claims team, Dr Nicola Bailey, reflects on her experience as a GP and examines the potentially devastating consequences that small, apparently insignificant errors can have. Elsewhere you can find advice on ethical social networking and protocols for keeping a wholly professional relationship with patients. We look at the recent GMC social media guidance, and provide an essential dos and don'ts guide.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue of Good Practice. As always, we welcome your feedback.

Dr Catherine Wills
Interim medical editor

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