Expert Witness Update
As of 30th March 2011 the Supreme Court abolished your immunity from being sued for your expert witness work – see Jones (Appellant) v Kaney (Respondent)
The Supreme Court by a majority (Lord Hope and Lady Hale dissenting) allows the appeal. Lord Phillips gives the lead judgment. The majority hold that the immunity from suit for breach of duty (whether in contract or in negligence) that expert witnesses have enjoyed in relation to their participation in legal proceedings should be abolished.
For further details on this judgment please see the case summary at
How does this affect you?
You now can be liable for your testimony in court or work intimately connected with the conduct of court proceedings including your report and meetings. This ruling applies to any civil, criminal or family court expert.
You should urgently review the extent of your Professional Indemnity Insurance in relation to acting as an expert witness. Bond Solon recommend Ntegrity Insurance, who offer a comprehensive policy specifically for expert witnesses. There are substantial discounts for those who have undergone Bond Solon training.
The Marylebone Hotel, London25th February 2011 We are delighted to confirm that we have agreed a preferential rates package with The Marylebone Hotel, London The hotel, which has been recently refurbished to a very high standard, is part of the Doyle Collection of eleven hotels and is situated in Welbeck Street just around the corner from 10 Harley Street. Full details may be found on their web site at www.doylecollection.com/marylebone. We have obtained preferential rates of £170.00 per night for a superior guestroom or £210.00 for a deluxe guestroom exclusive of Vat. Other benefits include complimentary WiFi and business centre access, free local calls, complimentary use of the hotel's dry gym/Third Space Healthclub (which includes an extensive gym, 16 metres pool, sauna, steam room & Jacuzzi) and a 10% discount at the 108 Marylebone Bar & Restaurant that is part of the hotel complex. Rates for the hotel vary depending upon the time of year, but 10 Harley Street clients will benefit from the better of the above preferential rates or the on line rate whichever is the least expensive at the time of booking; this is known as the Best Available Rate which should be offered to you. To book please call reservations on 020 7969 3800 quoting the arrangement with 10 Harley Street. We would welcome your feedback if you take advantage of this offer. Read more about Ten Harley Street Consulting Rooms
Watching television can shorten your life12th January 2010 It is a warning for couch potatoes everywhere – relaxing in front of the television can shorten your life. Each hour spent vegging out in front of television increases the risk of early death by up to 18 per cent, according to researchers from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. Even healthy people who exercise increase the chances of premature death from heart disease by 18 per cent for each hour spent in front of television. They have a 9 percent increased risk of cancer and an 11 per cent increased risk of death from all causes, claims the Australian and French team, whose findings are reported today in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association. Read more...
Drug exam to cut compensation bill16th December 2009 Doctors are to be formally tested on their knowledge of medicines before they graduate. The British Pharmacological Society (BPS) is developing a national prescribing assessment alongside a website where students can practise their skills, including “dragging and dropping” the right drug doses onto virtual patients. The BPS believes current training in prescribing is “piecemeal” and more needs to be done to ensure standards are high. Read more...
Hospital fights death claim action12th November 2009 Basingstoke hospital is fighting a widow's claim that her husband died because he was not told for a year that he had cancer. Read more...
Family to sue ambulance service11th November 2009 A family are suing East Midlands Ambulance service after a man died in hospital following a 90 minute wait for an ambulance. Read more...
Baby to have life support removed10th November 2009 The father of tragic "right to life" baby RB has withdrawn his opposition to a High Court plea by doctors and the little boy's mother for permission to switch off his life support. Read more...
Outrage over hospital blunder10th November 2009 Scottish health chiefs have apologised "unreservedly" for a series of errors that led to the "preventable" death of a woman following surgery for breast cancer. Read more...
Mental ill health 'costs business £28bn a year', says report5th November 2009 Stress, depression and mental health problems in the workplace are costing employers billions of pounds in lost productivity, the NHS watchdog says. A culture of long hours and “presenteeism” — where workers feel obliged to come into work although they may be unproductive — is damaging small businesses and the wider economy, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says. Analysis by the watchdog suggests that the annual cost of mental ill health to a business with 1,000 employees is £835,355, but up to £250,000 a year could be saved by reducing absenteeism and increasing performance. As part of guidance on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace released today, NICE has produced an online calculator that tells employers how much they could save by improving line management and working conditions.
£50 million programme to provide new body parts20th October 2009 Hip joints? Check. Knee ligaments? Check. Heart valves? Check. It is the MoT that will last you a lifetime, and such are the advances in the science of “spare parts” that researchers claim it will help you live beyond the age of 100. A £50million, five-year programme announced today, will focus on developing biomedical engineering solutions to the problems faced by Britain’s ageing population, which could keep the average person active into their second century. The work, which will be co-ordinated by the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (iMBE) at the University of Leeds, aims to tackle ten challenges that will allow people “50 active years after 50”.
GMC Requirement for Doctors' Licences25th June 2009 With effect from 16th October 2009 all doctors wishing to undertake any form of medical practice, including but not be limited to, writing prescriptions, holding an NHS post, and the signing of death and cremation certificates, for which UK law currently requires GMC Registration will need to be both registered and hold a licence to practise. It will be possible to confirm whether doctors have been granted a license to practise by visiting the GMC web site at www.gmc-uk.org after 16th October 2009. Ten Harley Street Ltd will require proof of license to practise with effect from this date for all GMC registered practitioners. In the meantime anyone requiring further information, about registration, revalidation and licensing, and annual fees, can email the GMC at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the GMC web site at www.gmc-uk.org.
The Care Quality Commission - Powers of Enforcement25th June 2009 The Care Quality Commission (CQC) was established in October 2008 by the Health and Social Care Act 2008. It will have the enforcement powers that previously the CSCI and the Healthcare Commission had under the Care Standards Act 2000. The CQC will also have three new powers under the 2008 Act which will come fully into force in April 2010.
Powers Already Existing under the Care Standards Act 2000The enforcement powers of the CQC are now:
Impose, vary or remove conditions
This might be used where one specific aspect of the service needs to be improved, but other services can continue while changes are made
Prosecution for specified offences
Prosecution will be considered where it is in the public interest, and where there is a realistic prospect of conviction. In some cases it may be appropriate to prosecute in conjunction with other enforcement actions, for example suspension of registration. The maximum court fines have increased considerably.
This is an ultimate sanction and will be reserved for serious, urgent cases. There is a right of appeal against cancellation.
New powers under the 2008 Act
Issue a warning notice
A warning notice will provide details of the breach in question and set out a timetable to rectify it. If the breach is not rectified within the enforcement period any necessary follow up action will be taken. It is likely that such a notice will be used for first-time or minor breaches.
Issue a financial penalty in lieu of prosecution
A financial penalty notice will be considered by the CQC as an alternative to prosecution. It might be used where the provider is clearly in breach of statutory requirements but it is clear that improvements can be made. By paying the penalty the provider may avoid further proceedings. The value of penalties may range from £1,250 to £4,000.
Registration can be suspended entirely for a specified period. This may be used where there is a serious breach but the provider demonstrates a willingness to rectify the breach.
School Roof Collapses: 13 Children Injured UK swine flu infections rise to 65Ten new cases of swine flu have been confirmed by health officials in England, taking the total number of UK infections to 65. The Health Protection Agency says another seven adults and three children have contracted the disease. The news came as four schools reopened in time for the crucial exams season after being closed when pupils became infected. Three of them - Alleyn's School in Dulwich, southeast London, Paignton Community and Sports College in Devon, and Downend School in Gloucestershire - are secondary schools with pupils sitting GCSEs and A-levels. The Dolphin School, a private prep school in Battersea, southwest London, has also resumed classes. Read More...
ChaperonesIn an increasingly litigious world, medical practitioners face the prospect of allegations of sexual assault arising from a one to one consultation with a patient. Such a claim can be damaging to your professional and personal reputations. In order to minimise such risk it is advisable for practitioners to employ the services of a chaperone and we can assist with this from within our own resources. Just ask a member of the reception team if your require this service.
Health-on-Line studies infection rates in NHS hospitalsOfficial reports suggest that hospital acquired infection rates are steadily dropping, although Health-on-Line, the online Private Medical Insurance (PMI) company, notes continued media coverage of individuals who have contracted a hospital infection at an NHS facility. Whilst private hospitals are not impervious to infections, the vast majority appear not to have suffered the high rates of infection cases reported in their NHS counterpart. This seems to be down to the priority given to hygiene and cleanliness. Many private centres do not employ external companies to clean the premises and ensure a rigorous routine is adhered too.
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