“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.