Guidance

NHS nurses, managers and directors pay scales 2014/2015

By Francesca Robinson - 31st July 2013

Nurses and midwives in England will not receive a cost of living salary increase this year after the government overturned the Pay Review Body's (PRB) recommendation of a 1% pay ri ...

Ten tips for doctors on growing a private practice

By Adrian Stevenson, associate of Laing & Buisson - 18th July 2013

Despite the economic gloom there are many opportunities for consultants to take their private practice to the next level, says Adrian Stevenson, an associate of the independent hea ...

Ten tips on meeting the NHS digital challenge

By Dr Paul Shannon, consultant anaesthetist in the NHS and medical director at CSC - 11th March 2013

Following heath secretary Jeremy Hunt's recent challenge to the NHS to 'go paperless' by 2018, doctors and hospitals are going to need IT tools to coordinate care electronical ...

GMC guidance on facilitation of patient suicide complaints

By Mike Broad - 13th February 2013

New guidance on how the GMC deals with complaints against doctors who may have helped patients commit suicide has been published. The guidance will help the GMC decide if a ...

How to craft competent medico-legal reports

By Giles Eyre, barrister and co-author of a manual for medico-legal experts - 12th February 2013

The 'Jackson reforms' in civil court procedure are close upon us. Extended 'tracks', fixed fees and non-recoverability of success fees will force lawyers to take a close look at th ...

Whistleblowing: guidance for doctors on raising concerns

By Francesca Robinson - 13th October 2012

New guidance on whistleblowing has been published by the BMA. It follows an inaugural medical whistleblowers conference held in association with the Patients First pressure group f ...

How to run a good ward round - advice for doctors and nurses

By Dr Georgina Russell - 10th October 2012

The Ward Round is the key vehicle for coordinating care for every hospital inpatient; the information shared is crucial to the ongoing care plan. The ward environment is busy and ...

Advice for doctors on attending coroners' inquests

By Andrea James - 9th August 2012

There has been widespread media coverage recently regarding the Inquest into the death of Emma Stones, a 12-year old girl with cerebral palsy who died of septicaemia at Tameside Ge ...

Will a prescribing error land me in hot water?

By Andrea James - 8th May 2012

The GMC has recently published the results of the PRACtICe study examining prevalence and causes of prescribing errors in general practice. This study follows on from the GMC's 200 ...

A refresher on consent: gaining it properly from patients

By Dr Ruth Gibson, medico-legal adviser at the MDU - 5th April 2012

Obtaining consent from a patient prior to surgery or treatment is seen as a routine part of practice and rightly so. Despite this, failure to take proper consent or to properly rec ...

Social media: best response to negativity is no response

By Dr Natalie Hayes, medico-legal adviser at the Medical Defence Union - 22nd March 2012

Social media has unfortunately been hitting the headlines again, this time for all the wrong reasons. Cyber bullying, now better known as "trolling", seems to be spreading across o ...

Managing communication technology risks in the NHS

MDU - 1st February 2012

Tips for hospital doctors and managers, from defence body MDU, on using modern communication technology responsibly in the NHS: 1. Ensure you are familiar with up-to-date and re ...

Under the influence - guidance for doctors on alcoholic patients

By Dr Yvonne McCombie, MDU medico-legal adviser - 29th November 2011

From drunken revellers staggering around British town centres to more sombre images of jaundiced alcoholic patients lying in hospital beds, the social and health problems caused by ...

Hospital doctors' pay scales for 2014/2015

By Mike Broad - 15th November 2011

In England, only those junior, SAS and consultant NHS doctors at the top of their pay scales will receive the proposed 1% unconsolidated pay award offered by the Treasury. The g ...

The unconscious patient - making the right call on consent

By Dr Yvonne McCombie, MDU medico-legal adviser - 27th September 2011

Unconscious patients who are unable to consent to treatment can present legal and ethical challenges for junior doctors in A&E. The following fictional scenarios, based on t ...

Acting as an expert witness - advice for hospital consultants

By Dr Mike Roddis, director of Healthcare Performance - 12th August 2011

The Medical Defence Union has developed new guidance for doctors embarking on their first consultant post. In the eighth in a series of articles guiding you through the more common ...

Job planning for consultants: a collaborative approach

By Mike Broad - 5th August 2011

Guidance on consultant job planning has been released following agreement between the BMA and NHS Employers. Managers and consultants will need to work even more closely together ...

Writing a medico-legal report: guidance for hospital consultants

By Dr Mike Roddis, Healthcare Performance - 4th July 2011

The MDU has developed new guidance for doctors embarking on their first consultant post. In the seventh in a series of articles guiding you through the more common non-clinical cha ...

Advice on organisational skills and managing meetings

By Dr Mike Roddis, Healthcare Performance - 12th May 2011

The MDU has developed advice for doctors embarking on their first consultant post. In the sixth article in this series guiding you through the more common non-clinical challenges a ...

Seeking consent on making recordings - a doctor's guide

By Mike Broad - 19th April 2011

The GMC has launched new guidance clarifying when doctors should seek consent from patients to make and publish recordings. The wide availability of digital recording equipment me ...

Child protection - guidance on confidentiality and disclosure

By Dr George Fernie, senior medicolegal adviser, and Gareth Gillespie, casebook editor at the Medical Protection Society - 22nd March 2011

The issue of confidentiality is a complex one for doctors, particularly with regards to disclosing patient information to third parties. When you can and can't do it, and whose con ...

NHS pension scheme: guide to Hutton's proposed changes

By Mike Broad - 11th March 2011

In 2010, the Treasury invited John Hutton to chair the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission, which was tasked with undertaking a fundamental review of public service pens ...

Doctors as managers: a guide to developing the right skills

By Dr Mike Roddis, director of Healthcare Performance - 15th February 2011

The MDU has developed new guidance for doctors embarking on their first consultant post. In the fifth of a series of articles guiding doctors through the more common non-clinical c ...

GP commissioning: government guidance at-a-glance

By Mike Broad - 16th December 2010

The government's ambition is for an NHS that puts patients first and continually improves the quality and outcomes of care for everyone. This improvement will come from devolving p ...

Keeping medical records - guidance for doctors

By Dr Sally Old, MDU medico-legal adviser - 30th November 2010

The MDU has developed new guidance for doctors embarking on their first consultant post. In the fourth of a series of articles guiding you through the more common non-clinical chal ...

Communicating with colleagues - advice for hospital doctors

Dr Sally Old, MDU medico-legal adviser - 29th October 2010

The MDU has developed new guidance for doctors embarking on their first consultant post. In the third of a series of articles guiding you through the more common non-clinical chall ...

Communicating with patients - advice for hospital doctors

By Dr Sally Old, MDU medico-legal adviser - 28th September 2010

The MDU has developed new guidance for doctors embarking on their first consultant post. In the second of a series of articles guiding you through the more common non-clinical chal ...

Chaperone policies - guidance for doctors

By Mike Broad - 5th September 2010

Hospital doctors are being urged to ensure their trust has a chaperoning policy in place. It follows research in the Postgraduate Medical Journal which shows that nearly half of t ...

Developing leadership skills - guidance for new consultants

By Dr Emma Sedgwick, joint director of Healthcare Performance - 29th August 2010

The MDU has developed new guidance for doctors embarking on their first consultant post. In the first of a series of articles guiding doctors through the common non-clinical challe ...

Consultant contract: guidance on supporting professional activities

By Mike Broad - 16th February 2010

What are supporting professional activities? The consultant contract's supporting professional activities (SPAs) reflect activities that are essential to the long-term maintenance ...

Going on medical elective: a guide for students

By Mike Broad - 3rd February 2010

Most students complete their medical elective during their fourth or fifth year at medical school. They can be undertaken in the UK or overseas. It is up to the individual where t ...

Advice for hospital doctors on avoiding prescribing errors

By Mike Broad - 4th December 2009

A GMC-commissioned study into the writing of prescriptions has revealed an error rate of 8.9%. The causes of the errors by hospital doctors, such as miscalculating the dose, were ...

Applying for Clinical Excellence Awards - guidance for doctors

By Mike Broad - 25th November 2009

Clinical Excellence Awards (CEAs) are intended to financially reward consultants who perform over and above the standard expected of their role. Consultants who can demonstrate tha ...

How to move into medical research - guidance for doctors

By Mike Broad - 24th November 2009

There are various reasons why doctors consider carrying out a research project: to learn new things; to improve career progression; for a change in life style and to try out a life ...

Ten tips for doctors on effective antibiotic prescribing

By Mike Broad - 23rd November 2009

Existing guidance on the management of some infections may be too long and complex for many doctors to have time to absorb, according to the Healthcare-Associated Infections Worki ...

The role of patient chaperones in clinical practice

By Dr Vas Kavadas, MDU medico-legal adviser - 8th November 2009

A chaperone's main role is to provide reassurance and emotional support for a patient undergoing a procedure they may find embarrassing or uncomfortable such as intimate examinatio ...

Setting up in private practice - guidance for consultants

By Mike Broad - 1st October 2009

Many consultants consider private practice to generate more income. The current size of the UK private healthcare market is about £4bn with 7.5 million insured patients (13% of th ...

Guidance for doctors on copying letters to patients

By Mike Broad - 16th September 2009

Copying letters to patients is on the whole beneficial. There are instances when it's advisable for doctors not to copy patients in but these instances should be the exception and ...

Advice for doctors wanting to work abroad

By Mike Broad - 7th September 2009

One of the great benefits of being a doctor is the development of geographically transportable skills. UK-trained doctors are often in demand in other countries, and many will cons ...

Tips for doctors on managing celebrities and the media

By Dr Anahita Kirkpatrick, MDU medico-legal adviser - 28th August 2009

Stories about the health of celebrities regularly hit the front pages and it can lead to confidentiality dilemmas for the doctors and other healthcare staff providing care and tr ...

Understanding NHS finance, budgets and commissioning

By Mike Broad - 23rd July 2009

Political expectations are growing that hospital doctors will get to grips with NHS finances and get more involved in budget management and commissioning. With the NHS facing a fu ...

Darzi Review and NHS modernisation: at-a-glance guide

By Mike Broad - 17th July 2009

The government's plans to reform the NHS over the next 10 years were laid out in the Darzi Review. In 2007, colorectal surgeon Lord Ara Darzi was asked to conduct the review on h ...

Guidance for doctors on dealing with patient complaints

By Mike Broad - 13th July 2009

A new NHS complaints procedure was introduced in England on 1 April 2009. A significant change that doctors need to be aware of is that the NHS complaints procedure now has just t ...

Revalidation for doctors: an at-a-glance guide

By Mike Broad - 7th July 2009

Revalidation is the process by which doctors holding registration with a licence to practise will have to demonstrate to the GMC that they are up-to-date and fit to practise and co ...

Whistleblowing - raising concerns in the NHS

By Mike Broad - 3rd July 2009

Whistleblowing is the popular term applied to a situation where an employee raises concerns to people who have the power and presumed willingness to take corrective action. All emp ...

Implementation of the Working Time Directive for junior doctors

By Mike Broad - 11th June 2009

The UK has implemented the European Working Time Directive (WTD) incrementally. Its aims are to protect the health and safety of staff by restricting the number of hours an individ ...

How to become a medical expert witness

By Mike Broad - 1st June 2009

An expert witness is qualified by their knowledge and experience to give an independent opinion on a specific issue in court. Role of a medical expert witness The medical expert ...

CV writing and job interview advice for doctors

By Mike Broad - 29th May 2009

The first step for a doctor to get a new job is to write a strong CV. A doctor's CV will often have less than a minute to convince a recruiter of their suitability for a role in a ...

How to become a flexible trainee

By Mike Broad - 27th May 2009

Flexible trainees are part-time doctors in training. Flexible training provisions have been in existence in the NHS since 1969. But, impetus to improve access to flexible training ...

Job planning and appraisal for consultants

By Mike Broad - 26th May 2009

In 2000, the NHS Plan called for a new career and reward structure for consultants that would raise productivity. It started a process of developing better arrangements for profess ...

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