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NHS needs to learn lessons from negligence cases


The costs of clinical negligence cases have been falling for the past two years, according to the last two NHS Resolution annual reports, and we need an open debate about the true facts regarding this litigation.

Specialist lawyers and their experience of dealing with an array of claims have something valuable to add to the debate around the failures of patient-safety learning across the whole of the health service.

The problem is that claims are not seen for the learning opportunities that they present. In addition, assessment of lessons regarding safety is disjointed across the NHS into numerous separate trusts.

That is why specialist claimant legal firms in this field have come together to use their experience of litigation to propose a beneficial scheme.

Fixation on costs could backfire as specialist law firms may leave the field, says Paul Rumley, chairman of the Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers and a partner at the law firm Royds Withy King. "It is better for the government and MPs to look at our scheme and continue with the success of current collaboration, while assessing wider structural reform of the NHS to deliver more co-ordinated lessons around patient safety."

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 7 October 2021

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