The Royal College of General Practitioners says it is concerned that the Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba case will see regression to a blame culture.
In a statement issued following the UK Council meeting on Friday (23 February 2018), RCGP Chair, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, said the case has caused “considerable anxiety for GPs, particularly GP trainees, who are worried about the repercussions of the ruling and how it might affect the way they practise in future”.
While acknowledging that the case has “shaken the entire medical community”, she said “the implications for general practice, specifically, are significant given that we work independently, largely on our own, seeing the greatest number of patients on a daily basis in the health service.
“We do this without effective mechanisms to control our increasing workload, and a vital part of our role is to deal with uncertainty and manage risk on behalf of the NHS,” she added.
Professor Stokes-Lampard said the RCGP Council is very concerned that instead of promoting an open culture focused on learning from errors by improving systems, the unintended consequence of the case could be regression to a blame culture.
The College has joined with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans in calling for resources to be provided to ensure that all doctors in training have adequate, high-quality clinical supervision, and that safe staffing levels and functioning systems are in place right across the NHS. The College will also be “working constructively with the GMC to ensure it is sensitive to the concerns of GPs, and that steps are taken to restore the confidence that has been lost”.
Professor Stokes-Lampard said, the Council was concerned abount the GMC's approach to Dr Bawa-Garba's case, and the way it was handled, and the RCGP will be raising this with the regulator directly.