Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.

21 FEB 2018

Conscientous Objection Bill

Thank you for taking the time to email me about the Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities Bill).

I have noted your position on this matter and hope the following information on this topic from the Department of Health is of interest:

While the General Medical Council (GMC) wishes to accommodate and respect the diversity of its members' beliefs, it is committed to providing 'patient-centred' care, and will never allow anyone to be denied medical care and assistance on the grounds of belief.
The GMC has a range of guidelines for their members to ensure 'Good Medical practice', and they state that doctors must explain to patients if they have a conscientious objection to a particular procedure. The 'conscientious objection' clause in the GMC's 2013 guidance allows doctors to opt-out from performing a procedure to which they object, but they must make every effort to notify their patient in advance, and they must not obstruct patients from gaining access to the services they require. Arrangements for patients to see another doctor must be made without delay, and patients must not be left with nowhere to turn. Furthermore, in emergencies, doctors must not withhold treatment from any patient if it may run into conflict with their personal beliefs.
This strikes an appropriate balance between respecting the range of deeply-held personal, moral and religious beliefs of our many healthcare professionals, and the rights of all patients to receive the medical treatment the need and deserve. These guidelines will continue to maintain the NHS's commitment to providing patient care, within their rights as enshrined in the NHS Constitution.

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