MDU welcomes pledge for increased consistency from ombudsman

The MDU has responded to today’s publication by the PHSO of a review of how it uses clinical advice when investigating complaints.

Responding to today's publication by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman of a review of how it uses clinical advice when investigating complaints, the MDU welcomed the announcement of a more consistent and clear approach to sharing the content of expert clinical advice with those complained about. This will be done at an early stage, before a provisional view is issued.

The qualifications and experience of the ombudsman's clinical adviser will also be made clear to those involved in a complaint, which should help ensure only those with the appropriate skills are appointed to provide expert advice.

However, the MDU explained that a key issue remains precisely how the Ombudsman's clinical advisers weigh up whether the clinical standard was acceptable or not.

Dr Michael Devlin, MDU head of professional standards and liaison, said:

'We are disappointed that the review did not accept our submission that the clinical standard should be that of reasonable and responsible practice. This represents a lost opportunity to provide clarity on the judgement clinical experts must apply.

'We note that in the future the ombudsman will publish examples of how the clinical standard has been applied, and we hope that this will provide some much-needed practical detail and help doctors to have confidence in the process.'

This guidance was correct at publication 21/03/2019. It 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.

You may also be interested in

News

GPs advised by MDU to review 'no dogs' policies to recognise assistance dogs

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) is advising GP practices to check their policies are updated to ensure patients can attend appointments with assistance dogs.

Read more
News

Hugging a patient could land doctors in hot water, MDU advises

While the doctor-patient relationship can be an intimate one, a medical defence organisation is advising doctors this Valentine’s week about the dangers of overstepping boundaries when comforting patients with a hug.

Read more