The monthly round-up from the Anthony Collins Solicitors charities team.
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
In this ebriefing, we identify what we see as the key messages arising from recent prosecutions in the care and housing sectors.
A recent High Court case on costs could prove essential reading for clients who have cases in the magistrates' courts.
The employment and pensions team offer practical advice on whistleblowing.
Partners, David Alcock and Sarah Patrice, have been involved in reviewing the new Code of Governance for community-led housing, published on 21 May 2021 by the Confederation for Coop Housing.
Following the eviction ban being lifted on 31 May 2021 and further to our previous ebriefing, the new notice of seeking possession forms are now available on the Government website as Word versions.
The European Court of Justice's standpoint on the Wiener Wohnen landowning developer case, and how the level of influence over the work did not amount to a decisive influence.
The Law Commission's Technical Issues in Charity Law report revealed that many charities struggle with a range of technical issue in the law.
The Law Commission recommended four key changes to the law in respect of mergers and the incorporation of charities which we have detailed in this ebriefing.
Over the last few weeks, we have published individual ebriefings on some of the key changes to be implemented following the Government’s response to the Law Commission’s report.
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