The latest in our Talk with the Experts series of webinars painted a bleak picture of medical practitioners throughout the NHS close to breaking point under the combined pressures created by the pandemic and the impossible decisions it has forced upon them.

 

Claire Petts, a partner and Head of Healthcare at one of ARAG’s specialist partner law firms, Clyde & Co LLP, joined ARAG’s Broker Business Manager Chris Clacy to discuss the various ways in which the pandemic has presented disciplinary issues that are adding to the pressure on clinicians.

Claire talked first about some of the issues that have emerged around vaccination, particularly at-risk and patient-facing doctors, who were themselves administered both doses of a vaccine within a few weeks, during the period when the government decided to extend the delay between doses to 12 weeks, and are facing disciplinary action as a result.

Vaccination has also created some more typical issues around patients who do not have the legal capacity to make decisions for themselves and whose carers disagree with their doctor’s decision that they should be vaccinated.

Claire moved on to talk about clinicians, already under immense pressure and working long and difficult shifts, facing potential legal action over their treatment decisions for patients suffering from Covid-19. She highlighted the importance of swift, compassionate but firm legal action in supporting doctors in such circumstances and helping families come quickly to terms with the decisions that have to be made.

The examples Claire recounted drew a stark illustration of normally robust doctors crumbling under the pressures of their impossible workload and highlighted the importance of both supporting their emotional wellbeing and firmly defending their clinical judgment and fitness to practice

Claire’s account provides a fascinating and at times shocking insight into the combined medical and disciplinary pressures on medical staff, for which Chris Clacy thanked her, on behalf of our audience of insurance professionals who advise and provide cover to all types of medical practice.

A video recording of the webinar will be available shortly.

Disclaimer - all information in this article was correct at time of publishing.

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