About this event

  • Date and time Thu 3 Dec 2020 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Anaesthesia

This third episode of the fascinating When things go wrong - doctors in the dock series, provides a platform of discussion between three international experts on Patient Safety, Good Practice and the Law. The discussion will explore ways we can really improve clinical practice and standards whilst avoiding harm, both to patients and healthcare professionals, in challenging systems of healthcare. They will consider all measures and precautions taken, and examine what works, and what doesn’t.

We will also analyse whether and to what extent improvements or changes in patient safety have been made since the 'When things go wrong: Consent, manslaughter and (gross) negligence' RSM conference back in October 2018. 

Questions such as; What can we do further? What has to change, both in clinical practice and training? What are the reasons why certain measures, appraisals and assessments don’t bring the desired effect? How can we as professionals better contribute to effective change and learn from outside the box? Will be discussed.

Webinar topics include: 

  • How to improve clinical standards of practice effectively and efficiently
  • How can accreditation and appraisal be a force for good?
  • How to protect ourselves as healthcare professionals, at the same time setting the highest possible clinical standards, even in a challenging environment, such as during a pandemic
  • Introducing effective accreditation standards for training departments
  • How complaints and clinical errors can be dealt with more efficiently and effectively
  • How we can obtain fairer retribution within a just culture

Free to attend and CPD applied. 

We would like to thank our webinar series sponsors The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland, The Medical Protection Society, The MDU and Slater and Gordon UK Ltd. Please note that the scientific programme and content has not been influenced in any way by the sponsor.

This webinar is part of the When things go wrong - doctors in the dock series. The series will consist of 4 free webinars and examines all aspects of 'when things go wrong' from medical insurers to witnesses and finally, how do we deal with the rising tide of litigation in the NHS and still advance clinical quality and safety. This series is appropriate for all healthcare professionals to attend.

Live webinars will be broadcast every fortnight on a Thursday from 7:00pm. The last episode will be on Thursday 17 December 2020. 

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Key speakers

Alan Merry

Professor Alan Merry

Member of the Board of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists, Deputy Dean and Head of School of Medicine University of Auckland (New Zealand), and Author of Errors, Medicine and the Law.

Speaker's biography

Alan Merry is an anaesthesiologist who practises in chronic pain management at Auckland City Hospital. He is Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. He was Chair of the Board of the NZ Health Quality and Safety Commission and on the Board of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists. He is on the Board of Lifebox which aim is to improve standards of anaesthesia and surgical care in low-income areas of the world. His books, book chapters and papers in peer-reviewed journals reflect interests in human factors, patient safety, global health and simulation.

Prof William Harrop-Griffiths

Professor William Harrop-Griffiths

Vice-President Royal College of Anaesthetist, Chair Clinical Quality & Research Board, and formerly advising NHS Improvement on the development of national safety standards

Mike Durkin

Dr Mike Durkin OBE

NHS Resolution Board Non-Executive Director, Senior Advisor, Patient Safety Policy and Leadership and Director, Global Patient Safety Collaborative National Institute for Health Research, Patient Safety Translational Research Centre Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London

Speaker's biography

Dr Mike Durkin is Senior Advisor on Patient Safety Policy and Leadership for the NIHR Imperial College Patient Safety Translational Research Centre. He is Director of the Academic Partnership for the Global Patient Safety Collaborative, launched in 2019 by WHO. He is a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London, and the University of the West of England. He is an associate Non-Executive Director of NHS Resolution and is Chair of the Management Board of the NICE National Guidelines Centre.


He was the NHS National Director of Patient Safety from 2012 to 2017 having held clinical, research and faculty appointments in cardiovascular anaesthesia and critical care in London, Bristol and Yale Universities. He was Executive Medical Director at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital from 1993 to 2002 and was subsequently appointed as Medical Director for AGW Strategic Health Authority and for NHS South West. In 2009 he was appointed the UK National Clinical Director for Venous Thrombo-Embolism and from 2010 he was the Medical Director of the NHS for the South of England.


He led the National Patient Safety Programme for England from 2012 and he was commissioned by Her Majesty’s Government to convene the Berwick Advisory Board in 2013 to advise on improving the safety of patients in England. He led the development of the National Patient Safety Alerting System, the 15 Patient Safety Collaboratives across England and the Q Fellowship in partnership with the Health Foundation to build a community of 5000 quality improvers. In 2015 he chaired the Expert Advisory Group to establish the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch. He led the establishment of Ministerial Inter-Governmental Summits on Patient Safety which have now been held in the London (2016), Bonn (2017), Tokyo(2018) and Jeddah (2019).


He is an appointed Expert by the International Society for Quality in Health Care. In 2017 he was awarded the honourary accolade of Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of London for services to Patient Safety. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen in 2017 for services to Patient Safety. In 2018 he was elected as one of the 35 Inaugural Members of the International Academy of Quality and Safety, and to the Board of the US based Patient Safety Movement Foundation. He sits on national and international research, policy and patient safety Advisory Boards, including the WHO Task Force on the Global Action Plan for Patient Safety.


View the programme

Welcome and Introduction  

Dr Wim Blancke, President Elect, Royal Society of Medicine, Anaesthesia Section

Never say never again - has serious incident reporting gone seriously wrong?

Professor William Harrop-Griffiths, Vice-President, Royal College of Anaesthetist and Chair Clinical Quality & Research Board and formerly advising NHS Improvement on the development of national safety standards  

Egos, incidents and resolution

Professor Mike Durkin OBE, NHS Resolution Board Non-Executive Director, Senior Advisor, Patient Safety Policy and Leadership and Director, Global Patient Safety Collaborative National Institute for Health Research NIHR, Patient Safety Translational Research Centre Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London,

When things go wrong: Good medical practice versus clinical errors

Professor Alan Merry, Member of the Board of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists, Board of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists, Deputy Dean and Head of School of Medicine University of Auckland and Author of ‘Errors, Medicine and the Law’. 

Panel Discussion 

Dr Andrew Hartle, Consultant Anaesthetist, Imperial College Healthcare

End of Webinar 




Disclaimer: All views expressed in this webinar are of the speakers themselves and not of the RSM nor the speaker's organisations.

Special rates for difficult times 
The RSM wishes to offer healthcare professionals continued learning opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. The RSM’s ​weekly COVID-19 Series ​webinars remain free of charge, while there will be small charges to register for other online education. These fees will enable the RSM to continue its programme of activities and will apply during the course of the pandemic.

Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 2 hours before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted.

All webinars will be available for registered delegates for 30 days after on Zoom. The link will be sent 24 hours after the webinar takes place.  

This webinar will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be  distributed  in future on various internet channels. 

When things go wrong - doctors in the dock webinar series

All episodes in this series are free to book. Registration will close 2 hours before the start time of each webinar. 

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