The Royal College of Radiologists

Here is the RCR response in full to the DoH Consultation

RCR Final Response Apr 2014

The RCR state ‘we have no evidence that doctors are deterred from innovation by fear of litigation.’ They further point out (emphasis added) ‘If the doctor considers that the proposed treatment would not …satisfy the Bolam test if challenged in court, then the overwhelming likelihood is that the treatment will not be of value and there is a significant risk that it may be harmful.’

‘If the decision to offer an innovative treatment has been made within a multi-disciplinary team, as in 1(7)(c), then it is highly likely that it would satisfy the Bolam test if challenged in court, therefore making this Bill unnecessary.’

‘There is concern .. that the intent of the Bill is that those in independent practice would have greater flexibility and opportunity for innovation. This could have perverse effects as there might be fewer checks and balances to ensure that innovation is appropriate, safe and potentially effective.’

The Royal College continues ‘We are very concerned that there could be serious unintended consequences of the proposed legislation.’

‘Existing governance mechanisms protect patients from inappropriate experimentation and protect doctors from pressure to innovate in ways which are potentially detrimental to their patients. Patients who are not satisfied with the response of a particular doctor to a proposed innovative treatment may seek a second opinion. Relaxation of these governance mechanisms, which this Bill proposes, risks exposing vulnerable and desperate patients to false hope, futile and potentially harmful (and expensive) treatments.’

‘Fundamentally, we do not believe this legislation is needed. We do not feel that doctors are constrained as regards innovation and we believe that the current structures provide the appropriate checks and balances.’


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