Medical matters, unsurprisingly, continue to feature heavily in the headlines and the media in general. There seems to be an endless appetite among the public for such stories, whether they are announcing the arrival of new and better treatments or procedures, or reporting shortfalls, errors or even scandals. Politicians frequently feel obliged to step in, but their attempts to remedy things don’t always have the desired response.
Inevitably this is felt by you on the wards or in your consulting rooms, with increasing patient expectations in the form of unrealistic demands or a raft of self-researched information from the internet. This can make for some challenging situations, at a time when workloads grow in intensity, perhaps due to budgetary cutbacks or other local factors.
It continues to be an important time to be part of an organisation like MPS. We work in partnership with you to protect and support your career at every stage, and this work takes many forms, beyond the litigation work that we are more traditionally associated with. This includes an extensive range of educational products such as online learning, and consultative work with governments and policy-makers worldwide.
Many of you got in touch with us following the last edition of Casebook, regarding our cover story on the case of Beth Bowen. While the emotional reaction from a number of correspondents was not surprising, I was heartened by the way the article made everyone think about their own approach to communication, openness and consent.
Anger at the treatment of the Bowen family was palpable in some of your letters, and if this deeply tragic case results in reflection and changes in culture and practice, then something positive will have been achieved.
We have published a short response to this correspondence in our “Over to you” section. I hope you find this edition of Casebook an equally thought-provoking one and, as ever, I am keen to hear your feedback.
Dr Nick Clements