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Doctors 'must be held to account for their actions'

Doctors must be held to account for their actions, the industry's regulator has said as it unveiled new proposals to toughen sanctions.

A new consultation from the General Medical Council (GMC) suggests doctors should be made to apologise to patients or their families for mistakes.

And the regulator's chief executive says stronger action against failing doctors is needed to maintain patients' trust.

In the vast majority of cases one-off clinical errors do not merit any action by the GMC.

But if we are to maintain that trust, in the small number of serious cases where doctors fail to listen to concerns and take action sooner to protect patients, they should be held to account for their actions.

There have been occasions when we have been prevented from taking action in serious cases because the doctor has been able to show that they have subsequently improved their practice. We believe that doctors and patients want stronger action in these serious cases.

– Niall Dickson

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Doctors could be forced to apologise to patients

Doctors could be forced to apologise to patients or their families if they have caused them harm, under new proposals.

Those who have made mistakes but have since improved, could still be suspended or have their practice restricted, as part of the plans announced by the General Medical Council (GMC).

PA Wire
Doctors may be required to apologise to patients or their families for mistakes. Credit: PA Wire

Doctors who fail to raise concerns over the capability of a colleague may also face action.

The proposals are part of the regulator's bid to help "improve patient protection and public confidence in doctors".

The GMC is now appealing for the views of the public and other health professionals on the plans.

Lib Dems pledge to allow safe standing at matches

The Liberal Democrats will allow Premier League and Championship clubs to introduce safe standing at stadiums, under plans in its 2015 general election manifesto.

In the wake of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, clubs in England's top two divisions were required to ensure all fans were seated at matches.

Football Supporters' Federation
Rail seats at Bristol City's Ashton Gate stadium, which are only allowed to be used at Bristol Rugby matches. Credit: Football Supporters' Federation

The party says rail seats, which can be locked in an upright position to allow fans to stand and lean against a barrier, should be considered in English football, following examples in leagues across Europe.

It insists it is not campaigning for a return to open terracing.

The Football Supporters' Federation has long campaigned for the introduction of safe standing, claiming it improves the atmosphere at games and cuts ticket prices.

Robin Williams' ashes scattered in San Francisco Bay

Robin Williams' ashes have been scattered in San Francisco Bay following his suicide, according to the late comedian's death certificate.

Reuters
Robin Williams was found dead at his California home last week. Credit: Reuters

The 63-year-old - who was suffering from severe depression and experiencing the early stages of Parkinson's disease - was found dead at his home in California last week.

His ashes were scattered on August 12, the day after his death, according to the document.

Williams' death sparked a global outpouring of grief, with President Obama and stars of Hollywood among those to pay tribute to the actor.

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Ebola survivor's emotional goodbye to hospital staff

A picture showing Ebola survivor Dr Kent Brantly's emotional goodbye to the medical staff who helped save his life has emerged.

Earlier Dr Brantly said he was "thrilled to be alive" after his recovery from the deadly virus.

Dr Sanjay Gupta,CNN's chief medical correspondent, shared the image.

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a picture you won't soon forget. dr kent brantly says good bye to the team that saved him. #ebola http://t.co/L7j66SUm4q

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Ebola: US workers recover as Ireland awaits test results

As medics await test results on a man from Ireland who may have contracted the Ebola virus, two US aid workers have been discharged after making a full recovery.

Dr Kent Brantly and aid worker Nancy Writebol underwent intensive, experimental treatment at Emory University Hospital after contracting the disease while in Liberia.

ITV News correspondent Lewis Vaughan Jones reports:

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