This is a pattern about regulation as applied to the practice of medicine in the NHS. The pattern begins with this week’s BMJ:
I am not sure that I agree with Professor Terence Stephenson that the practice of defensive medicine is solely the consequence of litigation and that regulatory procedures play little part.
The study below, just published, has concluded: “Morbidity was greatest in cases involving the GMC. Most doctors reported practising defensively, including avoidance of procedures and high-risk patients. Many felt victimised as whistleblowers or reported bullying.”
The Chair of the General Medical Council said last week to the UK Parliament Health Committee:
Dr Christoph Lees and Dr Hilarie Williams have given their review of the current regulatory process. This is a well referenced article which is worth reading in its entirety:
The pattern that I have noted here is one of an approach to healthcare that appears to be ever more “regulated”, as described perfectly above. I believe that this is not the time to borrow military approaches in healthcare. The risk of this erosion of professionalism is that harm is caused to both patients and doctors.