Sunday, 31 July 2011

Locum doctors probably better than those in permanent posts by Dr Helen Bright

Audit Commission Briefing published in April 1999: Cover Story - The Use of Locum Doctors in NHS Trusts (click here to read).

It made a series of recommendations making life for locum doctors very difficult based on Department of Health wish not to pay locum agencies their commission fees. £110 million was spent on agency locum doctors (1996/1997). Audit Commission recommended that those in permanent jobs should provide the cover for absent colleagues, because, of course, doctors in permanent jobs are quite simply super-human. If the only way to provide the cover was to cancel own clinics NHS managers accepted that. Patients can always wait even if they die in the process.

Audit Commission recommended NHS trust to scrutinize locum staff the way they do not their permanent staff and where they thought they could get away with it. Senior doctors-consultants were told that they would be given support by the named NHS Trust consultant when the true purpose of the exercise was spying and supervison of senior colleagues who did not need it. Notes of such "support meetings" with locum doctors were destroyed by consultants who provided "support".

Frenzy of complaints to GMC against locum doctors followed, helped by GMC's own discriminatory policies against locum doctors. GMC decided that complaints that would not have impact on doctors registration (called Stream 2 complaints) in the case of locum doctors would be taken up by GMC Fitness to Practice as Stream 1 (serious complaints that GMC must investigate and that could have impact on doctors registration).

Locum doctors were essentially, described as dangerous and in need of supervision by Audit Commission in 1999 for political motive against private enterprise (locum agencies).

Audit Commission stated that 35% of those who responded to their survey about locum doctors (and we do not know total number of the responders), directors of personnel, reported adverse events are associated with locums.

Medical Protection Society (MPS) carried their study and found that 49% of doctors who answered their survey had complaints made against them (over 700 doctors responded).
MPS sample would be doctors in permanent posts. Click here to read.

Most locum doctors are ethnic minority doctors and racial/ethnic discrimination is rife in NHS. 35% is less than 49% . I conclude locum doctors could be a threat to incompetent or insecure doctors/staff in permanent jobs but because their performance is actually better overall based on 32% being less than 49%.

Audit Commission in their report failed to recognize that doctors can have problems when they are excellent. Prejudice is blindness.

Willful blindness is the title of the book written by Margaret Heffernan. She could be endlessly inspired if she lived in UK Click here to find more about it.
Canadian and USA studies did not find that their foreign doctors are worse. In fact, the opposite.

Health Select Commitee Reports on General Medical Council July 2011 (8th Report)

Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell Chaired Health Select Committee which has now produced the report on General Medical Council.
Please, click on the photograph to read it.
Doctors4Justice welcomes recommendations to look into whistleblowing issues in the future and we shall continue to support Health Select Committee in their work.
I shall add more to this article later when I get a minute.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Femen protest against detention of three journalists in Georgia

Members of Femen protested semi-naked against detention of photojournalists in Georgia and in front of their Embassy in Ukraine.

The three photographers in Georgia were charged with spying last week: Irakli Gedenidze, the personal photographer of President Mikhail Saakashvili; Zurab Kurtsikidze of the European Press photo Agency; and Abdaladze, who has worked for the Georgian Foreign Ministry and freelanced for The Associated Press. .

Significant media attention was naturally , given to this event who recorded their members being kicked by a security guard. Georgian Embassy has now apologized and they have dismissed the guard who attacked photographers and Femen.

Click on the photo to watch the video of this protest.

FEMEN (Ukrainian:Фемен) is a Ukrainian protest group based in Kiev, founded in 2008. The organisation became internationally known for organizing topless protests against sex tourists, international marriage agencies, sexism and other social, national and international ills.[1][4][5][6][7][8][9] Some of the goals of the organisation are: "To develop leadership, intellectual and moral qualities of the young women in Ukraine" and "To build up the image of Ukraine, the country with great opportunities for women".[3] As of late April 2010 the organisation is contemplating becoming a political party to run for seats in the next Ukrainian parliamentary election.[1][10

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


Irish Prime Minister has given the speech in which he attacked Vatican and state for failing children (mostly boys) who suffered abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy.
I noticed that there were many empty seats, but that is how people are today and it reflects where all of those missing members of parliament have put their priorities during this very important speech. Click on the nice photograph from Guardian to watch the speech by Enda Kenny.
Perhaps, PM should consider some changes to his cabinet and people of Ireland which MPs they want. All of MPs should have been there who had no good excuse to be absent. More disciplinary measures for MPs are required.