“Do the Law and Regulation Make Patients Safe?”

10th July 2019

Mr. David Sellu addressed the London Consultants’ Association and their guests at a well-attended dinner on 10th July at the Athenaeum. Mr. Sellu spoke emotively about his conviction and imprisonment for gross negligence manslaughter, and his subsequent exoneration. He argued that the application of criminal law has no place in the medical environment. A blame culture and lack of understanding of the complexities and nuances of medical care will not enhance patient safety and may result in the practise of defensive medicine to the detriment of future patients.

Drawing on his personal experiences, he stated that there remains a huge challenge for the profession to shift to a more mutually supportive relationship between private hospitals and doctors, whereby reasoned judgements are coupled with transparency and accountability.

Mr. Sellu spoke movingly of his sadness when his son, who was completing his medical studies, made the decision to never practice medicine having seen how his father had been treated.

Mr. Sellu has just published his memoir ‘Did He Save Lives? A Surgeon’s Story’ readily available at most bookshops and online.


– R. Hittinger (LCA)

“Gross Negligence Manslaughter in Healthcare, any need to panic?”

27th March 2019

This medico-legal meeting (kindly sponsored by Healthcode) was arranged in response to a flurry of Gross Negligence Manslaughter in Healthcare cases brought to the courts and extensive reports in the media (in particular the Sellu and Bawa Garba cases). As is well known, this prompted the Secretary of State to order a Rapid Policy Review, which was published with many recommendations in June 2018.

Our speakers for the evening were: Professor Sir Norman Williams, Mr. Ian Stern QC (Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively of the Rapid Policy Review), Mr. Richard Furniss (Barrister and Assistant Coroner) and Mr. Bertie Leigh (Hempsons solicitor) who offered different insights on policy, investigation procedure and interpretation of the test parameters when deciding whether an action amounts to Gross Negligence Manslaughter.

A more detailed report on this meeting may be read here

“Looking back on 40 years of Medicine and the NHS” – Mr. Henry Marsh Speaker Series dinner, 17th October 2018

On Wednesday 17th October 2018 the LCA hosted a dinner with invited speaker Mr. Henry Marsh at the Athenaeum in Pall Mall.

Mr. Marsh: a neurosurgeon, author and recent Desert Island Disc guest, provided reflections from his forty years as a surgeon.

During the evening’s discourse he described the competing tensions of collectivism versus individuality and conservatism versus recklessness.  He explored the traditional models of medical care delivery and shared his perceptions of the impact of the European Working Time directive on the medical workforce; advocating outcome assessment to be considered at team, not individual level.

His amusing and self-deprecating talk – peppered with anecdotes of his colourful experiences – was very much appreciated by the LCA audience.

“The Future of the NHS” – Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt MP Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, 25th April 2018

On Wednesday 25th April 2018, the LCA and colleagues gathered in the Garden Room of the Athenaeum in Pall Mall to hear the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care speak about the current and future status of the NHS. The evening was very successful and afforded a few of our colleagues the opportunity to pose questions to the Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt MP.

The Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt MP was formerly the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Shadow Culture Secretary, Deputy Shadow Prime Minister and Shadow Minister for Disabled People. Before his election as an MP, he ran his own educational publishing business ‘Hotcourses’ and also set up a charity to help AIDS orphans in Africa, in which he continues to play an active role.

“Clinical Outcomes and Negligence Pitfalls and Possibilities?” an Evening Meeting at the King’s Fund – Wednesday 28th February 2018

Despite the snowy weather, the LCA hosted a very successful meeting on February 28th at the King’s Fund entitled: “Clinical Outcomes and Negligence Pitfalls and Possibilities?”

Speakers from PHIN, the Medical Defence Union, Hempsons solicitors and One Crown Office Row provided a very useful overview of the current situation with regards to: litigation trends, clinical outcome reports, dealing with complaints at hospital level, and how to proceed when faced with legal action at the GMC or in the Court.

The LCA used this meeting as an opportunity to announce the launch of its joint Medico-Legal initiative with Hempsons to create an ‘Expert Witness Group’. Training will be provided to develop a pool of experts; if you are interested please contact Helena Kuras at our office:

Address: 80 Harley Street London W1G 7HL
Tel. 0207 580 1211

“Protecting the Public; the GMC from George Eliot to Ian Paterson” – Professor Terence Stephenson Speaker Series dinner, 22nd November 2017

A private dinner held at The Athenaeum with guest speaker Professor Terence Stephenson, Chair of the General Medical Council, who gave a detailed historical review and forward plan about rising questioning and complaints in the medical profession.

“Tax Evasion / Avoidance – What’s it all about?” –  1st December 2016

The LCA held a meeting in December 2016 at the Kings Fund on ‘Tax Evasion / Avoidance, with speakers from HMRC as well as the accountancy and legal professions (Mr. Ray Stanbridge and Mr. Christopher Sokol QC). Each presented their perspective on various tax schemes and the implications of taking part in these. There was an active discussion with the take away message being that there are considerable potential pitfalls for doctors contemplating such investments with high penalties for schemes, which are deemed inappropriate. The questions from the audience were penetrating. The meeting was well attended with an excellent feedback.


In addition to our current schedule of events we keep a record of reports from previous open and members meetings, which can be viewed through these links:

The Changing Financial & Regulatory Landscape of Private Practice
Wednesday 14th October 2015 –the London Consultants’ Association hosted a meeting for consultants all of whom, both in the NHS and Independent Sector, are facing a host of new regulatory and financial changes. The meeting held on 14th October 2015 at the Kings Fund was well attended with guest speakers from PHIN, Cardiothoracic surgery, Legal Advisors and Financial Advisors – Programme

The Role Of Medical Professionalism in the 21st Century.
28th May 2015

A private dinner held at The Athenaeum with guest speaker Sir Robert Francis QC. A well attended dinner with excellent feedback.

Which poses the greatest threat to private practice, litigation from patients, regulation from the GMC or the commercial power of the insurers?
28th January 2015

A private dinner held at The Athenaeum with guest speaker Mr Bertie Leigh, a Senior Partner at Hempsons Solicitors. Mr Leigh has conducted many of the leading cases in clinical negligence and regulatory law during the past 30 years. He is also an advisor to the AAGBI, RCPCH and the RCOG.

Competition Commission Report – What now for the Profession and the Patients?
Meeting held 14th May 2014

Mr. Mark Dietrich an accountant from the USA explained the current complexities of the American market with increasing involvement of groups of doctors working in partnership with hospitals. He explained that the Managed Care currently being enforced by UK insurers (which were known as HMOs – Health Maintenance Organisations) failed due to patient and doctor dissatisfaction.

Mr. Ray Stanbridge, accountant, gave a review of the current economic status of consultant and noted a general decline in income and profitability for most specialist groups between 2011 and 2013.

Mr. Richard Packard, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Deputy Chairman – FIPO discussed PHIN (Private Healthcare Information Network) and the rulings of the recent CMA (Competition and Markets Authority Report) report which designated PHIN to be the organisation responsible for consultant fees and quality data. He noted various difficulties that might arise and also discussed the complex methods by which consultants will be required to give fee estimates to patients.

Ms. Emanuela Lecchi, Solicitor at Watson, Farley & Williams discussed the professional response to the CMA report and outlined some of the inconsistencies’ which it contained. She noted that FIPO were currently considering an appeal, which will be based on legal grounds

A Professional Indemnity Update.
16 October 2013, King’s Fund, London – Indemnity Programme. 16.08.13

The FIPO/LCA Influential Speaker Series Welcomes The Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP Member of Parliament for Charnwood and Chair of the Health Select Committee.
5 November 2013, The Athenaeum, London –  At this well attended dinner Mr. Dorrell spoke about the challenges faced by the NHS. His proposal that there should be better integration of primary and secondary care along with community care maybe be difficult to achieve although the benefits in terms of financial outcomes seem clear. Mr. Dorrell was questioned in detail about some of his proposal.–Dorrell Dinner for guests 

A Professional Indemnity Update.
16 October 2013, King’s Fund, London – Speakers at this meeting came from the MDU, MPS, new insurers and also Spire HealthCare which is running its own professional indemnity system. A talk by Mr ED Bishop QC revealed increasing legal changes that will impinge on doctors. The inevitable rise of claims and GMC reviews is at the moment continuing, as is the rise in annual premiums.

The Competition Commission Initial Report, What now for Private Healthcare?
11 September 2013, King’s Fund, London – This meeting there was an active discussion about the Competition Commission provisional report. There were concerns raised by the audience about the Competition Commission failure to address the issues of patients’ detriment and threats to various consultants over clinical issues. Further submissions to the Competition Commission have been made by the LCA.

Dinner with Sir Bruce Keogh
30th October 2012 –  At this dinner, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh outlined some of his initial proposals on developing outcome data for the profession

Private Medical Insurance Changes and the Competition Commission Inquiry

19th June 2012 – A meeting was held at the King’s Fund to discuss the impact of the Competition Commission and other recent changes in the insurance market. A presentation by Dr. Duncan Dymond, the chairman of the London Consultants’ Association revealed concerns expressed by consultants to the LCA and FIPO. A further presentation by Emanuela Lecchi of Watson, Farley and Williams described the work of the Competition Commission in some detail. There were further presentations by Geoffrey Glazer, chairman of FIPO and Chris Khoo, deputy chairman of FIPO about the recent changes in private medical insurance, in particular Bupa Open Referral and other issues.

The Impact on Consultants of the OFT Report and Private Medical Insurance Changes

15th March 2012 – A very well attended meeting with presentations by Stephen Collier, CEO at BMI, JJ de Gorter, Medical Director at Spire Healthcare, Keith Biddlestone, Commercial Director, HCA and Geoffrey Glazer, Chairman of FIPO. The topics covered the OFT Inquiry and the up and coming Competition Commission Inquiry and various other aspects of recent insurance changes.

Professional Medical Indemnity

9th November 2011 – This meeting was devoted to the question of medical indemnity. Speakers included John de Bono – Barrister; Daniel Toner – General Counsel for Spire Healthcare; Richard Packard – Consultant Ophthalmologist and FIPO Vice Chairman who reviewed the FIPO consultant survey and Kevin McCluskie – an independent chartered insurance broker who has carried out a review of professional medical indemnity for FIPO.

The conclusion of the meeting was that whilst there are new insurers coming on stream apart from the main medical defence organisations, consultants should take clear advice before changing.

The consultant survey by FIPO showed considerable ignorance on the part of the majority of consultants with regard to the terminology, extent and cover arrangements that they have through their current indemnifier. More details can be found on the FIPO website at www.fipo.org

Update for Consultants

29th March 2011 – A well attended meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine on the 29th March heard talks from Magnus Boyd about methods by which consultants may protect their reputation. Vanessa Sanders of accountants, Stanbridge Associates gave a further update on tax and revenue issues and noted the benefits to be had from incorporation as a company. Consultants were advised to speak to their accountants on this matter.

Geoffrey Glazer, the Chairman of FIPO, discussed the current status of the OFT Market Study which was then in progress.

Stephen Collier, then General Counsel – now Chief Executive of the BMI group, discussed competition law in the context of the OFT Inquiry. There was a detailed question and answer session which followed these presentations.

Dinner with Mr Niall Dickson, CEO GMC

4th November 2010 – A dinner was held at the Athenaeum with the principle speaker Mr. Niall Dickson CEO of the GMC who discussed revalidation and answered detailed questions from the floor. The results of the GMC consultation on Revalidation was not yet fully approved by the GMC Council but is likely to lead to a simplification and streamlining of the process. This was greeted with some relief by the audience.

Dealing with the Insurers

7th July 2010 – At this meeting there were presentations by Mr. Geoffrey Glazer and Mr. Richard Packard, Chairman and Deputy Chairman of FIPO, Dr. J. J. de Gorter, Medical Director of Spire Hospitals, Dr. Ray Stanbridge, Medical Accountant, and Professor Tim Briggs, Medical Director of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore. Issues relating to current PMI tactics were discussed with a detailed question and answer review by the panel at the end. This meeting was attended by over 100 consultants.

Meet the Insurers – meeting at the King’s Fund

21st April 2010 – This was a lively meeting held in front of a packed audience at the King’s Fund who were addressed by speakers from all the major insurance companies as well as from Tribal, the company responsible for coding.

The different approaches by the various insurers were self evident and the audience engaged in a lively question and answer debate with the various speakers.

For more detailed short notes of this meeting members click here…

Further details about the FIPO consultant survey can be found at www.fipo.org/docs/axa-ppp/survey-may-2010.htm and www.fipo.org/docs/axa-ppp/survey-detail-may-2010.htm

Developing Your Private Practice

18th March 2010 – A meeting devoted to aspects of practice development was held on on the 18th March 2010 in Portland Place, London.

This meeting was addressed by a number of speakers including Mr. Richard Packard, Deputy Chairman of FIPO and Mr. Richard Rawlins, member of the BMA Private Practice Committee. The many young consultants in the audience were given detailed information about starting and developing their private practice.

Pressing Problems for Consultants

3rd March 2010 – An urgent meeting was called on Wednesday March 3rd at 6 pm at the King’s Fund to discuss the HMRC approach to consultants about non–tax compliance.

This meeting was held to discuss the HMRC approach to consultants about non-tax compliance. Speakers from Ray Stanbridge Associates accountants and from the legal profession (Mr. Keith Gordon), Barrister explained exactly how consultants should react to the current HMRC approach.

Dinner with Mr. Andrew Lansley CBE MP

2nd March 2010 – The LCA in conjunction with FIPO held another private dinner for consultants at the Athenaeum with Mr. Andrew Lansley CBE MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health as Guest Speaker.

Mr Andrew Lansley CBE MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health, addressed a large group at a private dinner hosted by the LCA and FIPO. Mr. Lansley spoke about Conservative Party policies towards healthcare with an emphasis on reduced managerial controls and greater professional input. During detailed questioning Mr. Lansley expressed concern over the European working time directive and also reaffirmed his intention to continue with some form of revalidation for doctors if appointed to office.

Other previous meetings have included:

Revalidation in the Independent Sector – 24th November 2009

Establishing and Developing Your Private Practice – 14th November 2009

Gearing Up For Success – Thursday 17th September 2009

LCA Dinner at the Athenaeum with Lord Darzi, the Health Minister – 9th June 2009

Managed Care – Inevitable or Avoidable? – Wednesday 20th May 2009

LCA Dinner at the Athenaeum with Baroness Young – 9th November 2008 [ LCA Members ]

“Connecting Conversations” – Tuesday 11th November 2008 [ Medical Secretaries ]

General Meeting for Consultants – “Developing Themes in Clinical Practice” – 29th October 2008 [ Private Consultants ]

What do Insurers want from the Profession – Cut Price or Quality? – Wednesday, 4th June 2008 [ LCA Members ]

“How to get the best out of your consultant” – Thursday 19th June 2008 [ Medical Secretaries ]

Politics, medicine, and the professions – an attack on professional independence? – Tuesday 11th March 2008 [ LCA Members ]

The Parliamentary Process – A Physician’s Diagnosis – Wednesday 28th November [ LCA Members ]

“Protecting Consultants’ Reputation” – Wednesday 24th October 2007 [ Private Consultants ]

“Get some colour into your wardrobe – and your life” – 26th September 2007 [ Medical Secretaries ]

“Meet the Insurers” – 23rd May 2007 [ in association with FIPO ]

Medical Care of the Military – from Nelson to the Gulf – Thursday 1st February 2007 [ LCA Members ]

Specialist Ophthalmology Tendering by BUPA and PPP – Implications for all Consultants – Wednesday 17th January 2007 [ Private Consultants ]

“Fitness for Work – A Seminar For Private Medical Secretaries” – Wednesday 31st January [ Medical Secretaries ]

More Turmoil in Private Practice – Wednesday 15th November 2006 [ LCA Members ]

Modernising Medical Careers; the Myths and Reality – 1st November 2006 [ LCA Members ]

Patients (and others) who are difficult and challenging; How to deal with them! – 18th May 2006 [ Medical Secretaries ]

Threats, Regulations, Appraisal, Legal Actions; What can Consultants Do? – 9th May 2006 [ Private Consultants ]

Private Dinner with Sir Graeme Catto – 5th April 2006 [ LCA Members ]

The New Face of Private Practice Entrepreneurs, Insurers & HMO’s – 22nd November 2005 [ Private Consultants ]