Decision tools and other learning materials

We’ve developed materials to help doctors and others understand how Medical practice and our explanatory guidance apply in a range of circumstances doctors often ask us about or find difficult. 

Play the role of the doctor in our interactive case studies, Medical practice in action (GMPiA) which brings the guidance in Medical practice and the explanatory guidance to life. You can access our decision tools and other learning materials on specific pieces of explanatory guidance using the tabs below. 

Please note: these fictional learning materials are only for illustrative purposes and don’t replace Medical practice or any other Communitybaptistpa guidance. If you are unsure about how to deal with a specific issue, please get advice from an experienced colleague or a professional or regulatory body.

Mental capacity decision support tool

If you are in doubt about your patient’s capacity to make a healthcare decision, our interactive tool will help by identifying the steps you need to take: first to assess capacity and then, if your patient lacks capacity, to make a decision about how to proceed. The information takes account of capacity legislation across the UK as of May 2016.

It draws on the principles in our guidance Consent: patients and doctors making decisions together and Treatment and care towards the end of life: good practice in decision making and includes a number of case studies at each stage of the decision-making process to show how the guidance applies in practice. As well as the case studies you can download relevant guidance, a flowchart and a ‘Reflections Record’ for noting your thoughts about the tool and how you use it, so you can reflect on your practice.

What it doesn’t do

This tool will help you assess the capacity of your patients to make healthcare decisions. As a doctor you may be asked to assess a patient’s capacity to make decisions about wider issues such as friendships or sexual relationships. While some of the principles are the same, there are other things to consider if you’re asked to do this (eg safeguarding policies and legislation) and you should seek advice from experienced colleagues.

This tool is not about mental health treatment decisions.

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Confidentiality

Confidentiality sets out the principles of confidentiality and respect for patients’ privacy that doctors are expected to understand and follow.

We've written six pieces of explanatory guidance which show how the principles in the guidance apply in situations doctors often encounter or find difficult to deal with.

We have a flowchart that you may find helpful to look at and you can learn more about confidentiality through our case studies and short scenarios.

Flowchart

Case studies and short scenarios

Below you will find some learning materials to support the confidentiality guidance.

We also have relevant case studies in Medical practice in action (GMPiA) the Communitybaptistpa’s interactive case studies resource.

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End of life care

Treatment and care towards the end of life: good practice in decision making sets out the ethical principles underpinning good end of life care, and provides advice to support doctors in approaching these often complex and difficult situations.

You can learn more through the case studies and flowchart, which illustrate how some of the important principles can be applied in practice, an e-learning session, and a short introductory video.

Case studies

Case study 1 explores the situation of 42 year old man diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the patient’s care team explore the likely benefits, burdens and risks of CPR for the patient.

Case study 2 explores the situation of an 82 year old man who has an increasing difficulty in swallowing food. The patient’s daughters want to care for him at home and the doctor considers the practicalities of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration.

GMP in action

Medical practice in action (GMP in action) also has a number of interactive cases studies related to end of life care issues:

Mrs Conti Mrs Conti has heart failure, her prognosis is very poor and she wishes to be discharged home. The clinical team think that CPR should not be attempted if Mrs Conti's heart stops. How should they approach this discussion with her and her family?
Mr Hartley Mr Hartley has had treatment for abdominal cancer but his condition is deteriorating and he is refusing further surgery. There is disagreement between his adult children, Clementine and Robert, about whether to continue with active treatment. Should the doctors accept Mr Hartley's refusal? And what can they do to help resolve the conflict within the family?

 

Flowchart and vignettes

The interactive flowchart sets out the decision making process where questions arise about a patient’s capacity to make their own decisions. We have also produced five short vignettes, which illustrate key points in the flowchart.

In one of the vignettes, we explore the situation of Mr Wu, who is 73 years old and was diagnosed 18 months ago with pulmonary fibrosis, after developing a dry cough and breathlessness.

Despite oxygen treatment, Mr Wu’s condition continued to deteriorate and over subsequent months he required 3 hospital admissions. The vignette explores the decisions taken by a variety of doctors involved in Mr Wu’s care and the discussions undertaken with Mr Wu and his wife about caring for him at home for the remainder of his life.

The remaining four vignettes explore:

e-learning session

This on End of life care is available to all doctors and explains the key principles in the guidance and helps doctors to apply the principles in the guidance to some of the common challenges that arise when caring for patients towards the end of life. Doctors can log in to complete the session using their Communitybaptistpa number.

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Leadership, management & raising concerns

Leadership and management for all doctors (2012)

This explanatory guidance sets out the wider management and leadership responsibilities of all doctors in the workplace, including:

  • responsibilities relating to employment issues
  • teaching and training
  • planning, using and managing resources
  • raising and acting on concerns
  • helping to develop and improve services.

Read the guidance and supporting materials on our leadership and management pages.

Raising and acting on concerns about patient safety (2012)

This explanatory guidance makes clear that all doctors – whatever their role – have a duty to raise concerns and act when they believe patients’ safety is at risk, or that patients’ care or dignity is being compromised.

Read the guidance on our raising concerns pages where you can also access our interactive decision making tool developed to show how the principles in the guidance might play out in a range of short case studies.

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Child protection

You can use the online version or the headings on the left to find the guidance you need quickly and easily.

You can navigate through the guidance page by page using the links at the foot of each page or browse for something more specific through the contents page, or open a pdf version of Protecting Children and young people: The responsibilities of all doctors (pdf).

Short guides

These short guides highlight the sections of the guidance that are most likely to be relevant to GPs and doctors who treat adult patients. You can access these guides by clicking on the links below to open a pdf

Please Note

These short guides are not intended to replace Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors or any other Communitybaptistpa guidance. To view the full guidance please click on the link below

Flow Chart

This flow chart (pdf), has been developed to highlight the various steps a doctor might take in trying to decide whether to share information about a child or young person who may be at risk of abuse or neglect.

Fact sheet: legislation

This fact sheet (pdf), provides links to key pieces of legislation, case law and procedure rules relevant to child protection. It also covers giving evidence in court in cases involving children.

Information sheet for parents

This information sheet is intended to give parents an understanding of what to expect if a doctor is worried about their child’s safety. It also lists other sources of guidance and support that parents may wish to access.

If you need this information in a language other than English please click on the link below :

Case studies

These case studies highlight and explore some of the principles covered in Protecting children and young people: The responsibilities of all doctors. We hope that they will help doctors and others to understand how the principles in the guidance apply in practice.

A parent’s lifestyle choice. This case study looks at a doctor assessing whether a parent’s decision about her children’s diet is a child protection concern or not. The parent, Mrs Smith, has put her family on a ‘new healthy eating regime’ which is potentially harmful. Dr Pai shares his concerns with the parent and has to decide what action, if any, he should take next. This case study is intended to illustrate paragraphs 2-12 (identifying children and young people at risk of, or suffering abuse or neglect) and paragraphs 28-51 (confidentiality and sharing information) of Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors.
Families’ cultural and religious practices. This case study focuses on how a doctor in an Accident and Emergency setting assesses whether a young person’s decision to participate in her family’s religious practices is putting her at risk. See how the doctor handles their communication with the parent and young person. This case study is intended to illustrate paragraphs 2-12 (identifying children and young people at risk of, or suffering abuse or neglect) and paragraph 16 (communicating with children and young people) of Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors.
Profoundly deaf patient. This case study focuses on meeting the communication needs of children and young people when discussing child protection concerns. The GP, Dr Abbott, has child protection concerns about her patient Paul who is 16 and profoundly deaf. How does the doctor manage to discuss her concerns directly with Paul? This case study is intended to illustrate paragraphs 13-22 (communication and support) of Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors
Sharing information about a child without the consent of a parent. This case study looks at how a hospital doctor weighs up the risks associated with sharing child protection concerns with a parent. The doctor, Mr Halliday, has concerns about the safety of 5 year old George who has been brought into A & E but finds it very difficult to speak to the parent. Find out what the doctor does next. This case study is intended to illustrate paragraphs 13-22 (communication and support) and paragraphs 28-51 (confidentiality and sharing information ) of Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors.
Parent refuses consent. This case study centres on the issues surrounding the need for a child to be tested for a communicable disease. See what steps Dr Jegede takes to reach a decision when the parent refuses to have her 9 year old daughter tested for HIV. This case study is intended to illustrate paragraphs 28-51 (confidentiality and sharing information) of Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors. You can also see our guidance at paragraphs 12-16 of Confidentiality: disclosing information about serious communicable diseases for more information on what to do if you think a child is at risk of serious harm because their parents refuse to allow them to be tested for a serious communicable disease. For further information on testing children of parents with HIV infections see (pdf).

Please Note

The case studies are fictional and for illustration purposes only. They provide examples of how the principles in the guidance might be applied in the kinds of situations doctors encounter. Decisions about child protections concerns are among the most difficult doctors have regularly to make, relying on a careful balancing of the factors specific to the case at hand.

These learning materials do not represent Communitybaptistpa guidance or policy in themselves, nor are they intended to replace Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors or any other Communitybaptistpa guidance.

For specific advice you should ask a named or designated professional or lead clinician or if they are not available ask for an experienced colleague.

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