Clinical negligence team host AvMA meeting

Clinical Negligence Team host AvMA Regional Meeting

Lessons Learned from Mid Staffs Enquiry.

On 18 September the clinical negligence team hosted the AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) regional meeting in our Bristol office. The event was organised by Kerry Fifield; Partner and represented by Lisa O’Dwyer; Legal Director of AvMA.

Charlotte Leslie MP for Bristol North West presented a talk in relation to professionalism and patient safety. Charlotte Leslie is a member of the Health Select Committee and is passionate about getting to the root of the issues within the NHS and how the system can be improved so that it can work in the future.

Jeremy Hyam; Barrister at 1 Crown Office Row gave a talk in respect of his involvement in the Mid Staffs enquiry, the implications of that enquiry and the Duty of Candour. The Duty of Candour imposes a policy of ‘transparency’ when something goes wrong.  Jeremy advised ‘in the second volume of response to the enquiry the government set out a commitment to introduce significant changes to the way in which the healthcare system operates including a proposal to legislate to create a duty of candour for providers and the development of a criminal charge of wilful neglect’.

The regulations in respect of that duty are being approved and due to take effect next month. Fundamental standards are dealt with within the Regulations and provide that; care and treatment must be appropriate and reflect service user needs and preferences, services users must be treated with dignity and respect, care and treatment must only be provided by consent; care and treatment must be provided in a safe way, service users must be protected from abuse and improper treatment, service users’ nutritional needs must be met; all premises and equipment used must be clean, secure, suitable and used properly.

AvMA have been actively campaigning for a Duty of Candour for a number of years.  AvMA has called for an improvement to the Duty of Candour plans. AvMA’s response to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) consultation on its draft guidance has called for a robust and proactive approach from the CQC to assure itself that the organisations are complying

Patient safety is paramount within the NHS but when things go wrong, their needs to be a policy of transparency and honesty within all hospitals. Training needs to be put in place for all new student doctors at the outset of their careers right through to management to illustrate how this should work in practice. At the moment there does not appear to be consistency within the Trusts in putting this policy into practice.

If you have any concerns in respect of patient safety or potential negligence please contact Kerry Fifield; Partner of the Clinical Negligence Team.