Recent Posts by Rachel Birch

Test results

MPS analysed data from 107 Clinical Risk Self Assessments (CRSAs) undertaken in practices in 2014. Risk associated with test results was found in 72% of practices, which was the sixth riskiest category, after confidentiality, prescribing, communication, health and safety and medical records. Locum GPs may be particularly concerned that they organise blood tests and x-rays…
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Speaking up

As a sessional GP you may not feel comfortable raising concerns about a colleague, but patient safety comes first so it is important that you speak up, writes Charlotte Hudson, Content Editor at MPS. You are a salaried GP in a busy practice. After three months you start to notice that the quality of care…
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Raising concerns about poor prescribing

MPS Medicolegal Consultant Dr Rachel Birch shares a case scenario involving a locum GP who was working in a practice with poor prescribing issues Dr L was working three days a week as a maternity locum at a busy medical practice. Every day she was asked to manage the acute prescription requests, even though she…
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Fit note GP guidance for urgent forms and letters

Dr Rachel Birch, MPS medicolegal adviser and sessional GP, presents two case scenarios highlighting fit note GP guidance on how to handle patient requests for fit notes (GANFYD) and letters Fit note scenario 1 You are doing a one-day locum. You see Mr H, a 32-year-old patient with a six-week history of low back pain.…
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Unwelcome patient attention

Sessional GP and MPS medicolegal consultant Dr Rachel Birch shares a case scenario about a patient who stalked her GP  Dr L worked as a locum GP in Manchester, doing maternity and other long-term locum jobs within the city practices. Five years ago he saw a female patient, Miss X, with mental health symptoms. He…
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The importance of communication for locums

Every UK doctor will have to meet the professional standards set out in the GMC’s new Good Medical Practice. Charlotte Hudson outlines why good communication is particularly important for sessional GPs. In general practice communication has to extend to a wide range of people, so there are many opportunities for it to fail. Communication between…
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Obstacles to openness

Sometimes, being open with patients when things go wrong is not as easy as you may think, particularly if you are a sessional, says MPS writer Sarah Whitehouse. Following an adverse event, being open and admitting something has gone wrong is essential to maintain a patient’s trust. Encouragingly, in a recent survey 92% of MPS…
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