FSEM Responds to the Duty of Care in Sport - Independent Report to Government

18 May 2017

The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) UK welcomes this wide ranging and thorough inquiry into the Duty of Care in Sport by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, DL, April 2017. The FSEM supports the concept of a National Sports Ombudsman to oversee governance structures in all sports and the mandatory appointment of a named Duty of Care Guardian at board level within each sport, underpinned by a national Duty of Care Charter.

The FSEM (UK) also supports the proposal for a National Sports Injury Register. In 2013 FSEM (UK) called for a Catastrophic Injury Register to be set up. Those sports with good injury surveillance have utilised this data to make their sport safer. We support this becoming mandatory to better understand the relative risk of injury in each sport.

Better education, understanding and management of concussion has always been an objective of the FSEM (UK). In 2014 the Faculty hosted a meeting of all of those involved in concussion management in sport and in 2015 the Faculty contributed to the Sport & Recreation Alliance Concussion Guidelines for the Education Sector (2015) referred to in the Duty of Care review.

The report reinforces our 2015 position statement on having more defibrillators in public places and at sporting venues. FSEM (UK) also supports a consistent approach to First Aid and pre-hospital care in sport. We recommend that all doctors working in sport undertake a course approved by the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

The report considers the potential conflict between the performance goals of a sport and the health and wellbeing of the athletes in that sport. The FSEM (UK) Professional Code (2016) provides clarity for doctors working in sport on where their responsibilities lie.

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