Tough love and honesty needed to prevent stalking and to ration health care in general..

As if morale was not low enough. Now the MDU in its advice Dec 5th: Doctors advised on dealing with ‘intrusive’ social media advances. Many “heartsink” patients have personality disorders, and the over sympathetic GP collects more than their fair share. Tough love which demands patient autonomy rather than dependence is the answer, as it is with rationing in general. Stalking can occur with nurses and other primary health team workers as well..

Katie Gibbons in The Times reports 6th December: Surgeries are a hotbed for stalkers

Doctors have been advised to tighten their privacy settings on social media and to decline gifts from patients in order to discourage unwanted advances.

Social media has made doctors “more accessible than ever” to patients, the Medical Defence Union warned. The body, which represents doctors in legal disputes, has dealt with a hundred cases in the past five years involving patients who have attempted to advance a relationship beyond the doctor’s clinic.

Beverley Ward, a medico-legal adviser at the union, said that a handful of those cases had “involved the type of stalking behaviour where a doctor may need to involve the police”.

“If [patients’ advances] are not nipped in the bud . . . things can get out of hand,” she said.

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, General Practitioners, Medical Education, Nurses, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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