Q2 2024

SME News Q2 2024/ 18 Medico-Legal & Digital Solutions CEO of the Year - UK Since inception, The Medical League’s focus has been set on helping healthcare professionals. Originally known as The Doctors League, its passion lies in addressing the unique challenges faced by nurses, doctors, and therapists across the healthcare industry. Covering all medico-legal, licensing, educational, and compliance needs, The Medical League is a beacon of support for its clients and a global leader in inclusivity, ensuring equal protection, representation, and empowerment. Now, in light of Founder and CEO, Dr Joealen Benson’s recognition within the CEO of the Year Awards 2023, we take a closer look at the outstanding work the firm does. The Doctors League was originally formed upon a bedrock of personal connection and trust, but, as it scaled, it came to the realisation that in order to sustain growth, it would take more than just familiarity – but also expertise. As such, a main driver of its vast expansion and success has been the delivery of professional expertise while making sure the trust at its foundation doesn’t falter. Dr Joealen states, “It’s a delicate balance, maintaining personal connections while embracing the expertise necessary to thrive at the enterprise level. This evolution in our approach has not only fuelled our growth but has also ensured that we remain at the cutting-edge of healthcare innovation.” This is combined with an insatiable appetite for innovation and a commitment to making a difference. Dr Joealen tells us how The Medical League’s role goes beyond mere goodwill, but it is about “empowering without enabling dependency, innovating with purpose, and trusting with wisdom”. These core values underlying the company’s work have only deepened since its inception, guiding it as it continues to navigate the complexities of growth. “Our evolution is evident in how we define trust, time our innovations, and extend our helping hand,” says Dr Joealen. “[Our core values] remain our guiding stars, illuminating the path forward in an ever-changing healthcare landscape.” Further, The Medical League’s approach is a fusion of sincerity and proven results, complemented by word-of-mouth recommendations from its satisfied clients. For the company, it isn’t just about providing services, but forging partnerships based on mutual respect and shared goals. It believes in demonstrating the effectiveness of its solutions through solid proof of concept and the powerful advocacy of those it has had the privilege to assist. “We’re not just lawyers; we’re a dynamic team of medical experts and legal professionals. Together, we provide unparalleled support for doctors navigating the complexities of healthcare law.” The Medical League works to ensure its clients understand their rights and responsibilities, tailoring its services to empower them within the medico-legal realm. Its medico-legal representatives hail from a variety of backgrounds and strive to provide guidance and representation, with The Medical League priding itself on being the only organisation to offer such unique service combinations and experience. The company’s appraisals service helps the client to improve their practice, identify risks, and ultimately prevent legal issues from arising in the first place. Its Responsible Officers (RO) ensure that all legal and ethical requirements are being met and act as a liaison between the client and their regulatory body. Doctors who have enlisted this service have reported remarkable outcomes in the form of reduced legal complications, higher professional satisfaction, and an increased focus on patient care rather than legal worries. The Medical League’s own internal review has shown a 30% reduction in legal complications in healthcare practices as a result of its proactive appraisals. An example of an appraisals case completed by The Medical League was for a locum doctor who was training in Europe and who had an impending revalidation due with GMC (General Medical Council), to show they were up to date and fit to practise. Being registered with one of The Medical League’s client agencies, this meant that it became the doctor’s appraisal body and inherited their ‘history’, which made the team aware of their past of deferral for nonengagement. An RO was assigned to the case, who made several attempts to arrange an appraisal meeting, but, as suspected, the doctor was proving difficult to reach. After six months of lack of response, the doctor was continuing to work for his agency despite GMC chasing for revalidation, and this led to him being issued with a six-week notice of Withdrawal of License. With this impending withdrawal, the doctor recognised the urgency, and The Medical League appeals team were able to arrange an extension of four weeks. This led to the RO managing to organise an appraisal meeting. From there, they acquired patient and colleague witness statements and negotiated with GMC, which saw a successful close to the case. Indeed, the team at The Medical League are no stranger to complex cases, and many of these cover bullying and harassment, with some being high-profile, too. A notable case saw an internationally recognised physio specialist facing job and career loss, financial ruin, and dishonourable discharge. This was due to the Trust that he had been working at for over 20 years deciding to close its service – while the doctor was on sabbatical. The doctor returned to work early and tried to meet with the Trust to prevent the closure, but they only experienced ongoing bullying and harassment, as well as a breach of confidentiality. The doctor was referred to The Medical League by a former client that it had helped, and the commissioners on its team realised the breaches that had taken place. They attempted to engage with the Trust, however it refused to cooperate, citing “non engagement with third parties”. The team gave the Trust the opportunity to resolve without any further intervention, but after four months with no response, they decided to act, forcing it to engage with them and setting timelines and clear outcomes for non-engagement and breaches. As a result, the Trust began to engage, the service stayed open, and the bullying and harassment ceased. Separately, The Medical League went on to liaise with politics, senior executives, and charities to execute an external independent review. From there came commissioning involvement – and the matter continues in the favour of the doctor, his colleagues, and their patients.