Amendment to the Child Abandonment Law

Child Abandonment Law states that all mothers who abandon their babies under 2 years of age are prosecuted.  I would like this to be amended so that a mother who leaves her unwanted baby in a "safe" place, i.e. an NHS facility, fire station, police station or church, can do so without the fear of being prosecuted.

Why is this idea important?

Child Abandonment Law states that all mothers who abandon their babies under 2 years of age are prosecuted.  I would like this to be amended so that a mother who leaves her unwanted baby in a "safe" place, i.e. an NHS facility, fire station, police station or church, can do so without the fear of being prosecuted.

Nurse practitioners should not restrict access to doctors

I am concerned about access to doctors on the NHS if the receptionist decides you don't merit an appointment with your doctor. I was told I could not even speak to my doctor on the phone,  so I made the decision to go to a private doctor.  I could not explain to my doctor why I failed to make my next  apppointment.

Why is this idea important?

I am concerned about access to doctors on the NHS if the receptionist decides you don't merit an appointment with your doctor. I was told I could not even speak to my doctor on the phone,  so I made the decision to go to a private doctor.  I could not explain to my doctor why I failed to make my next  apppointment.

Protect “confidential” medical records from the authorities

I am calling for medical confidentiality to be respected and for the practice of allowing the police and CPS access to a person's medical records to be stopped and indeed made illegal and a ban on using a person's medical history or records in criminal proceedings.

Currently, in certain circumstances the police can obtain a warrant to get a copy of a person's supposedly confidential medical records, including mental health records.

Sometimes, the clinical staff responsible for protecting the records will not even require a warrant, but will provide the records on the basis of a request from the police or CPS.

Why should the authorities be able to look at and use your "confidential" medical records against you, when questioning or prosecuting you?

I'm particularly concerned that if someone has a mental health problem,  the fact that medical records are not confidential will put people off seeking help and sharing their thoughts and feelings with a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist, because they might worry that these probably quite strange thoughts could be used against them in the future. If they don't seek help, their condition will probably get worse and they might become a danger to themselves or others.

The thoughts and feelings expressed in therapy may be no more weird than those that most people have from time to time, but if the person becomes a suspect in an investigation in the future, the fact that they have shared their thoughts in therapy means that they can then be used against them by the police, or as "evidence" or to make them out to be some sort of wierdo and turn the jury against them in court.

If a person is fortunate enough to be able to pay for private therapy, the notes from this will not be available to the authorities, mainly because they will not know that you had therapy or who you saw, but if you are poor and have to accept therapy on the NHS, the authorities will see this from your GP's records and then go fishing in your mental health records for anything they think will help their case.

I think it's disgusting that we don't protect medical confidentiality so that people can seek help without worrying that it might cause problems for them in the future, but currently the NHS and the Government regards your records as their property to do with what they wish.

Why is this idea important?

I am calling for medical confidentiality to be respected and for the practice of allowing the police and CPS access to a person's medical records to be stopped and indeed made illegal and a ban on using a person's medical history or records in criminal proceedings.

Currently, in certain circumstances the police can obtain a warrant to get a copy of a person's supposedly confidential medical records, including mental health records.

Sometimes, the clinical staff responsible for protecting the records will not even require a warrant, but will provide the records on the basis of a request from the police or CPS.

Why should the authorities be able to look at and use your "confidential" medical records against you, when questioning or prosecuting you?

I'm particularly concerned that if someone has a mental health problem,  the fact that medical records are not confidential will put people off seeking help and sharing their thoughts and feelings with a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist, because they might worry that these probably quite strange thoughts could be used against them in the future. If they don't seek help, their condition will probably get worse and they might become a danger to themselves or others.

The thoughts and feelings expressed in therapy may be no more weird than those that most people have from time to time, but if the person becomes a suspect in an investigation in the future, the fact that they have shared their thoughts in therapy means that they can then be used against them by the police, or as "evidence" or to make them out to be some sort of wierdo and turn the jury against them in court.

If a person is fortunate enough to be able to pay for private therapy, the notes from this will not be available to the authorities, mainly because they will not know that you had therapy or who you saw, but if you are poor and have to accept therapy on the NHS, the authorities will see this from your GP's records and then go fishing in your mental health records for anything they think will help their case.

I think it's disgusting that we don't protect medical confidentiality so that people can seek help without worrying that it might cause problems for them in the future, but currently the NHS and the Government regards your records as their property to do with what they wish.

Freedom to choose male doctor

Currently, where there are group practices, a woman patient can choose to see a woman doctor where the problem is female-only (and sometimes even when it isn't).

But there are also problems that are male-only. Sometimes a male patient would feel more comfortable discussing his issue with a man because a woman — purely because of her female sex and for no other reason — would be out of touch.

This choice should be available to men.

Why is this idea important?

Currently, where there are group practices, a woman patient can choose to see a woman doctor where the problem is female-only (and sometimes even when it isn't).

But there are also problems that are male-only. Sometimes a male patient would feel more comfortable discussing his issue with a man because a woman — purely because of her female sex and for no other reason — would be out of touch.

This choice should be available to men.

Lift off the ‘restriction to work as a doctor in training’ from Tier 1 general visa

I suggest lifting off the 'restriction to work as a doctor in training' from Tier 1 general visa.

NHS is facing a recruitment crisis at the junior doctor's level as there are not enough UK/ EEA candidates to fill the junior posts and we still rely on International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to run the service smoothly.

High standards of training was one of the main charms for IMGs to come and work as a doctor in the UK and this attraction is lost now because IMGs are barred from taking up training posts because of the above visa rules. Since overseas doctors do not have the opportunity of training and progression in the UK it has become extremely difficult to attract them, hence accentuating the recruitment crisis. 

In order to meet the demand NHS trusts are having to sponsor work permits to recruit doctors in training jobs . This makes the recruitment process more complicated and expensive taking into account the cost of repeatedly advertising the posts to prove that the resident labour market test has been applied, organising several rounds of recruitment and finally the cost of sponsoring the visa. Whereas if the restriction from Tier1 visa is lifted off a reasonable number of doctors will be able to apply under this category without jeopardising their progression and they will pay for their own visas with no need for their employer (NHS) to waste money on sponsoring and arranging a visa.

With the introduction of a cap on immigration, recruiting doctors on short term work permits may mean a very unstable medical workforce in the country. And  if doctors are needed in the country whether they are on a work permit or Tier 1 does not alter the number of immigrants by any means.

I would like to site my example to prove the above, I was appointed as a junior doctor on the PMETB approved core medical training programme in Sheffield in August 2009 on a work permit for 2 years to cover the 2 year duration of my core medical training. At the end of these 2 years, I need to reapply for further 5 years of training to become a specialist. I am eligible for a Tier 1 visa but if I take this type of visa I will not be able to continue my training. If I do not apply for this visa I will not be eligible to apply for the first round of training recruitment despite of my knowledge and skills which make me a highly appointable candidate. I will have to wait for an employer to prove that I have passed the resident labour market test and then sponsor my visa. This may lead to a gap or perhaps discontinuation of my training in the UK, forcing me to leave and continue my training in another country. It also brings in a lot of uncertainty about my leave to remain in the UK in case I do not find an employer to sponsor me. 

Having completed the United States Medical Licensing Exam, I would rather apply for a training job in The States than go through the stress of uncertainities about my future in the UK. Most of the doctors in my situation feel the same way and this is how UK is losing its medical workforce to The States or to Australia and Newzealand.

Had there not been the restriction on Tier 1 visa preventing doctors to work in training posts, I would have been able to shape my future in the UK and have the privilege of staying close to my siblings who are doctors on the old unrestricted HSMP visa!

Why is this idea important?

I suggest lifting off the 'restriction to work as a doctor in training' from Tier 1 general visa.

NHS is facing a recruitment crisis at the junior doctor's level as there are not enough UK/ EEA candidates to fill the junior posts and we still rely on International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to run the service smoothly.

High standards of training was one of the main charms for IMGs to come and work as a doctor in the UK and this attraction is lost now because IMGs are barred from taking up training posts because of the above visa rules. Since overseas doctors do not have the opportunity of training and progression in the UK it has become extremely difficult to attract them, hence accentuating the recruitment crisis. 

In order to meet the demand NHS trusts are having to sponsor work permits to recruit doctors in training jobs . This makes the recruitment process more complicated and expensive taking into account the cost of repeatedly advertising the posts to prove that the resident labour market test has been applied, organising several rounds of recruitment and finally the cost of sponsoring the visa. Whereas if the restriction from Tier1 visa is lifted off a reasonable number of doctors will be able to apply under this category without jeopardising their progression and they will pay for their own visas with no need for their employer (NHS) to waste money on sponsoring and arranging a visa.

With the introduction of a cap on immigration, recruiting doctors on short term work permits may mean a very unstable medical workforce in the country. And  if doctors are needed in the country whether they are on a work permit or Tier 1 does not alter the number of immigrants by any means.

I would like to site my example to prove the above, I was appointed as a junior doctor on the PMETB approved core medical training programme in Sheffield in August 2009 on a work permit for 2 years to cover the 2 year duration of my core medical training. At the end of these 2 years, I need to reapply for further 5 years of training to become a specialist. I am eligible for a Tier 1 visa but if I take this type of visa I will not be able to continue my training. If I do not apply for this visa I will not be eligible to apply for the first round of training recruitment despite of my knowledge and skills which make me a highly appointable candidate. I will have to wait for an employer to prove that I have passed the resident labour market test and then sponsor my visa. This may lead to a gap or perhaps discontinuation of my training in the UK, forcing me to leave and continue my training in another country. It also brings in a lot of uncertainty about my leave to remain in the UK in case I do not find an employer to sponsor me. 

Having completed the United States Medical Licensing Exam, I would rather apply for a training job in The States than go through the stress of uncertainities about my future in the UK. Most of the doctors in my situation feel the same way and this is how UK is losing its medical workforce to The States or to Australia and Newzealand.

Had there not been the restriction on Tier 1 visa preventing doctors to work in training posts, I would have been able to shape my future in the UK and have the privilege of staying close to my siblings who are doctors on the old unrestricted HSMP visa!

Curb the powers of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to restrict feedom of choice in medicine

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) should be providing guidance and suggestions for treatment protocols, not dictating precisely what doctors are and are not allowed to do. The position of NICE needs to be clarified so that doctors who believe that it is appropriate in specific cases to deviate from the NICE guidance feel able to do so without fear of repercussions. Patients should be free to make an informed choice for the treatment approach they want where supported by their doctor, even if this is not currently considered 'best practice' by NICE. The current regime is stifling innovation and harming patients.

Why is this idea important?

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) should be providing guidance and suggestions for treatment protocols, not dictating precisely what doctors are and are not allowed to do. The position of NICE needs to be clarified so that doctors who believe that it is appropriate in specific cases to deviate from the NICE guidance feel able to do so without fear of repercussions. Patients should be free to make an informed choice for the treatment approach they want where supported by their doctor, even if this is not currently considered 'best practice' by NICE. The current regime is stifling innovation and harming patients.

Return the responsibility for Out-of-Hours medical care to GP’s

The current out-of-hours medical care is demonstrably not working. One doctor can end up being responsible for half a county, and foreign doctors have been deployed with (in at least one high-profile case) fatal results because of the language barrier.

GP's are now being paid more, with less responsibility. Time to redress the balance, and return to the previous pattern of practices being responsible for the care of their own patients at night or at weekends.

Why is this idea important?

The current out-of-hours medical care is demonstrably not working. One doctor can end up being responsible for half a county, and foreign doctors have been deployed with (in at least one high-profile case) fatal results because of the language barrier.

GP's are now being paid more, with less responsibility. Time to redress the balance, and return to the previous pattern of practices being responsible for the care of their own patients at night or at weekends.

Remove catchment areas of GPs

Allow people to register for any GP surgery, rather than a handful within their catchment area.

If this is not possible, then at least make the catchment areas bigger. Eg. to increase to whole london boroughs rather than small areas within.

Why is this idea important?

Allow people to register for any GP surgery, rather than a handful within their catchment area.

If this is not possible, then at least make the catchment areas bigger. Eg. to increase to whole london boroughs rather than small areas within.

OPTING OUT OF THE NHS MEDICAL RECORDS DATABASE

The way the current system works,everybody is automatically opted in the medical record database system. My idea is to  make it neccessary for you the patient to opt into the system rather than opt out. The database managers should have to sell their idea to the patients, so that the patients can make an informed decision on this matter rather than automatically being added to this centralised database system.

Why is this idea important?

The way the current system works,everybody is automatically opted in the medical record database system. My idea is to  make it neccessary for you the patient to opt into the system rather than opt out. The database managers should have to sell their idea to the patients, so that the patients can make an informed decision on this matter rather than automatically being added to this centralised database system.