About: Rachel Birch
Writer and editor at MPS. MPS’s educational risk management workshops, ‘Mastering Professional Interactions’ and ‘Medical Records for GPs’ provide further information on the risks to patients and doctors when patient care passes between doctors, and on good record-keeping. They are free as a benefit of membership to MPS members too.
Recent Posts by Rachel Birch
Medical hierarchy may present a challenge, and at times a possible reluctance, to open discussions about patients. Dr Rachel Birch, medicolegal consultant at Medical Protection, discusses possible reasons for this and provides helpful strategies to overcome this. Most doctors would agree that a medical hierarchy exists in the hospital setting, with junior doctors and specialist…Read more
Burnout among GPs can be an occupational hazard and is believed to be increasingly common. Dr Rachel Birch, medicolegal consultant at Medical Protection, discusses burnout and the steps that sessional GPs can take to avoid it. Case scenario Dr A is a locum GP undertaking 5-6 sessions per week in different practices. She has chosen…Read more
There's still some uncertainty about the new state-backed indemnity scheme for England and Wales, and Rachel Birch from the MPS has the answers. What is state-backed indemnity? The state-backed scheme will provide GPs with indemnity for clinical negligence claims, arising from work undertaken under NHS-contracted primary medical services. This will be a similar arrangement to…Read more
The use of humour is believed to have several positive psychological and physiological effects on health. Many doctors and patients believe it has a place in the consultation. Dr Rachel Birch, medicolegal adviser at Medical Protection, addresses this issue in more detail and presents a case where humour had unintended consequences. In recent years it…Read more
Dr Rachel Birch, Medical Protection medicolegal adviser, presents two case scenarios on requests for fitness to fly certificates, illustrating what locum GPs can do to support patients while minimising any potential risks. Case study – Fit to fly, we want some sunshine! Mr G, a 68 year old patient, came with his wife to see…Read more
Medical Protection’s Dr Rachel Birch explores some of the risks involved in treating patients whose first language is not English. It is likely that we have all consulted with patients whose first language is not English. How often we do so will depend on the demographics of the practice population. There are potential risks, both…Read more
The GMC has revised its confidentiality guidance and came into force on 25 April 2017, and it's worth becoming familiar with these changes. The GMC has published a helpful summary of what is new in the guidance, and outlines the duty of confidentiality that GPs have to their patients but emphasises the wider duty to…Read more
As a GP, you're part of a system. So what happens when the system is failing? You only have to pick up a newspaper to read about the widespread effects of funding cuts on the NHS. Long waits in A+E, delays in ambulance response times and frequent cancellations of operations. This leads, inevitably, to patient…Read more
Managing your own wellbeing can be difficult as a locum, as prioritising your own health and safety over the needs of a practice could sour your relationship with that practice. However, it is important to ensure that you are practising in a way that is compatible with your own personal safety and wellbeing, and that…Read more
GPs often have the greatest chance of spotting behaviour patterns and risk factors that a child may be being abused. Charlotte Hudson presents some tips for locums on the steps they can take to recognise the signs.
Medical Protection Medicolegal Adviser Dr Marika Davies explains how to maintain professionalism when dealing with trivial requests from patients. Board games are popular during the festive period but dealing with patients who present with concerns of a minor nature is no trivial pursuit. GPs are likely to be busy in the run up to Christmas,…Read more
Advice from MPS "We are aware that some practices have recently contacted GP locums who contract via their limited company, as opposed to self-employed individual doctors, to request evidence of corporate malpractice protection. We know that many GP locums who contract this way do not have corporate protection, as they rely on their individual membership…Read more
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