Covid-19 has resulted, on the whole, in a marked co-operation between contracting authorities and their suppliers as everybody focuses on maintaining delivery as far as possible.
All hospitals are under an obligation to investigate serious incidents in their hospitals. The purpose is to learn from the mistakes in order to prevent recurrence and so protect patient safety.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman found that some hospital investigations were inadequate, of poor quality, inconsistent, not transparent and not independent.
Dame Julie Mellor, the Ombudsman, said “NHS investigations into complaints about avoidable death and harm are simply not good enough”.
The Ombudsman’s report found that a fifth of NHS investigations missed crucial evidence, an independent doctor was involved in only 52% of the investigations and in 73% of cases where the ombudsman found clear failings, the hospitals’ own investigations claimed that there were no failings. Furthermore, even when hospitals identified failings, the lessons were not passed to frontline staff so no improvements would follow.
The report called for an accredited training programme for staff carrying out investigations and new guidance.
Ann Houghton, clinical negligence solicitor at Anthony Collins Solicitors, said “many of our clients have first-hand experience of this system and the feeling of hitting their head against a brick wall when they just want to know what happened and that things will change so that other patients are safe. This report shows that sadly our clients’ experiences are not isolated events. It is particularly worrying that some investigations might not be independent and there might be a degree of ‘turning a blind eye’ to failings.
Recognising where things have gone wrong, apologising and learning from the mistake is of crucial importance in the NHS, the same as in every other business and life generally. The failings of the present system also mean people are turning to litigation in order to get answer because of the brick wall they face after making a complaint. This can be stressful for patients and costly for the NHS, both of which could often be avoided if the NHS investigations were better in the first place.”
For further information or advice about the issues raised here, please contact Ann Houghton
As we enter a recession, we have been here before, and a key question is what did we learn and how can we benefit from that learning?
It is anticipated that as lockdown restrictions ease, and particularly with children and young adults returning to education, cases of meningitis will start to rise.
As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
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