HC Deb 01 July 1980 vol 987 cc495-6W
Dr. Roger Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement with regard to the so-called "Big Mix" style of prescribing and administering a mixture of drugs, antidepressants, anxiolytics, and B blockade to patients on a large and indiscriminate scale, during which two patients died; and what action he intends taking to prevent such tragedies recurring.

Dr. Vaughan

A family doctor's terms of service require him to exercise professional judgment when deciding what treatment is necessary and appropriate for his patient. However, any patient, or per- son acting on his behalf, who considers that a doctor has failed to comply with his terms of service may make a complaint to the local family practitioner committee; and both the complainant and the doctor have a right of appeal to my right hon. Friend if the committee's decision is adverse to them.

No one can guarantee that tragedies resulting from drug therapy will not recur: but I hope and expect that practitioners will always exercise their professional judgment responsibly.