Views And Reviews No Holds Barred

Margaret McCartney: Doctors and families must be able to work together for safer care

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k443 (Published 31 January 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k443

Re: Margaret McCartney: Doctors and families must be able to work together for safer care

I agree with almost every word of this article so I find it tragic that Dr McCartney has propogated the inaccurate reporting elsewhere in saying that: "As Bawa-Garba’s reflective notes were used as evidence against her in court..."

As made clear by the GMC and the MPS:
- The GMC has a policy of never asking for appraisal or e-portfolio information
- The e-portfolio was never presented in the original court case and Dr Bawa Garba's reflective notes were never used against her

This ruling has triggered a media storm and the most unfortunate consequence could be that doctors fail to protect themselves by documenting their reflection and learning. Reflective practice is core to keeping safe for our patients and ourselves. It is how we develop insight and grow as professionals. We should harness the energy generated here to address concerns about the law around gross negligence medical manslaughter and the risks inherent in working in healthcare not to attack reflection.

GMC FAQs on Dr Bawa-Garba case (FAQ 7): https://gmcuk.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/faqs-outcome-of-high-court-appeal...
MPS Press release 30 January 2018: https://www.medicalprotection.org/uk/about-mps/media-centre/press-releas...

Competing interests: I am a patient, with friends and family who are also patients, a GP, appraiser, appraisal lead, the RCGP Medical Director for Revalidation and the Chair of the AoMRC Revalidation and Professional Development Committee and an advocate for reflective practice

13 February 2018
Susi Caesar
GP
RCGP
30, Euston Square