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Medico-Legal Aspects of Healthcare

Course Features
Blended learning including lectures, seminars, workshops and case studies.

Covers medico-legal aspects of healthcare: an introduction to clinical risk management and risk management in practice; issues of patient safety and quality; introduction to the legal system; medical negligence, Health & Safety Issues in Healthcare; patient consent, confidentiality and privacy, beginning and end of life issues, medical research, medico-ethical aspects of law and medical ethics; Medical Litigation Issues: Plaintiff and Defendant perspectives; the Coroner’s Court; Fitness to Practice and Professional Regulation; Practical aspects of expert witness and evidence in cases

Emphasises practical application of this knowledge and training healthcare and medico-legal settings;

Students who have successfully completed the Professional Certificate Medico-legal Aspects of Healthcare – can continue into Term 2 and complete the Graduate Diploma in Healthcare (Risk Management and Quality), and who are then eligible to apply for a one-year part-time MSc.

Course Overview
This course provides training for healthcare providers, doctors, dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, radiographers, other healthcare professionals and personnel, hospital managers, clinical risk advisors/managers, hospital managers/directors, administrators and other professionals working directly or indirectly in the fields of patient quality, safety and clinical risk management, and will also be direct professional interest to healthcare lawyers and those involved in claims management.

Course description
The course will provide training for clinical and managerial healthcare professionals and lawyers involved in the medico-legal aspects of healthcare and in the areas of clinical risk management - leading to the award of a Professional Certificate in Medico-legal Aspects of Healthcare. This is an appropriate qualification for professionals practising in the medico-legal fields of healthcare, clinical risk management and patient safety in addition to, or as part of, their work.

The skills learned will provide the basis for participation in claims for healthcare and legal professionals and clinical risk management, risk management and patient safety committees and for further training as a risk / patient safety advisor/manager. The knowledge acquired will be applied to the improvement of patient safety and care, to the prevention and management of legal claims and to healthcare delivery in general. The qualification may also be suitable to those in the fields of claims management and those specialising in healthcare law.

Course content
The Certificate covers the following medico-legal aspects of healthcare:
An introduction to clinical risk management and risk management in practice;
Issues of patient safety and quality;
Introduction to the legal system; medical negligence;
Health & Safety Issues in Healthcare;
Patient consent;
Confidentiality and privacy;
Beginning and end of life issues;
Medical research;
Medico-ethical aspects of law and medical ethics;
Medical Litigation Issues: Plaintiff and Defendant perspectives;
The Coroner’s Court;
Fitness to Practice and Professional Regulation;
Practical aspects of expert witness and evidence in litigation and at Hearings.

Students must pass the module to be eligible for entry onto the Graduate Diploma in Healthcare (Risk Management and Quality), if they wish to transfer / continue to the Diploma.

Otherwise, an exit option exists for students who successfully complete this module but do not wish to continue to the Graduate Diploma Programme, in which case students are eligible for the award of the Professional Certificate in Medico-legal Aspects of Healthcare.

Entry requirements

Eligibility criteria
Doctors, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists and radiographers must have a minimum of three years’ post qualification experience.

Other healthcare personnel and professionals must have a basic qualification in one of the health sciences or hold such other qualifications as approved by the School of Medicine and Medical Science and have a minimum of three years’ clinical or healthcare managerial experience or other relevant experience.

Anyone outside this criteria will be considered on an individual basis by examining qualifications, work experience and suitability.

International Applicants
International applicants should contact the academic programme director for a full list of entry requirements.

Duration

4 Months Part Time (September to December).

Further enquiries

Programme Administrator:
Ms. Brid McCormack
UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science
Forensic & Legal Medicine
UCD Health Sciences Centre
Belfield
Dublin 4
T: + 353 1 716 6647
E: legal.medicine@ucd.ie

Academic Course Co-ordinator:
Mr. Asim Sheikh B.L
Forensic and Legal Medicine
UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science
Health Sciences Centre
Belfield
Dublin 4
E: asim.sheik@ucd.ie

Comment

Course aims
The aims and goals of the programme are to equip students with the vital general and specialist knowledge of the main and core medico-legal aspects healthcare and to enable students to be able to present their ideas, with coherence within a specialist healthcare environment, especially in relation to the professional aspects medical law and medico-legal aspects of healthcare. The course utilises a mix of teaching from experts and practitioners in the areas of law, governance and medicine, by way of continuous lecture contact, assessment evaluations, case-study presentations and a written exam.

Learning Outcomes
Students will have knowledge and a detailed understanding of the main aspects of medico-legal theory and practice and an understanding of the basic aspects of clinical risk management. Students will learn: the ability to cogently listen, interpret, discuss and debate, vocally and in writing and research issue/s in relation to medico-legal issues within a healthcare setting; to communicate effectively in writing, oral and visual presentation to be able to present ideas at all levels of a medical enterprise from lower staff to corporate management; Will specifically deal with areas of: clinical negligence, patient consent, medical records, confidentiality and privacy, medico-legal issues at the beginning and end of life, death reporting to the Coroner, courtroom skills, medico-legal issues of professional regulation and fitness to practice, medico-ethical aspects of medical practice; Ability to ensure effective communication skills in the medical workplace in general, as between the doctor and patient and in other settings such as the courtroom when involved with or as an expert medical witness. Use information technology and electronic sources of information in work, practice and presentation. Learn to think in terms of `integrated governance' and practical solutions to problems in healthcare and law, which problems may lead to harm to patients, by working with supervisor/s who are in the professional fields of law, medicine and governance.

The Certificate offers the opportunity to allow for participants entering to consider (I) entering into the Diploma programme and further (II) consider the Master’s Programme if suitable.

Teaching, learning Assessment Approach

The Teaching approach is to utilise substantive, case-study and an interactive style to learning with as practical as possible input from lecturers who are specifically required to draw from their professional expertise in the fields of litigation, claims handling and other areas of medical law and ethics.

Learning is acquired through open discussion of professional topics, case study analysis and also on-line interaction and discussion boards.

Examinations

The Professional Certificate consists of 1 Module of 15 ECTS.

The teaching is combined with 3 assessments: (I) an on-line / essay-type project (II) a Group Presentation and (III) an end of module written exam designed to ensure the acquiring of knowledge of the core medico-legal issues discussed in the programme.

Students must pass the module to be eligible for entry onto the Graduate Diploma in Healthcare (Risk Management and Quality), if they wish to transfer / continue to the Diploma programme. Students who successfully complete the Diploma, are eligible for entry onto the MSc in Healthcare (Risk Management and Quality) programme (which is by competitive entry only).

Otherwise, a default exit option exists for students who enter the Professional Certificate and successfully complete this module but do not wish to continue to the Graduate Diploma Programme, in which case students are eligible for the award of the Professional Certificate in Medico-legal Aspects of Healthcare.

This Module is Assessed in 3 Stages during the term (September to December):
By an online essay / exercise in term;
By a Group Oral Presentation;
By Written exam in December.

Location

The course is held in the UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Health Sciences Centre, Belfield, Dublin 4.

Enrolment and start dates

Next intake: September.

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