Action against Medical Accidents(AvMA) is the UK charity for patient safety and justice. We provide free and confidential advice and support to people affected by medical accidents, via our helpline and casework service and can refer to our panel of specialist clinical negligence solicitors or other sources of support where appropriate. HELPLINE: 0845 123 2352 (Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm). AvMA is also the foremost patients' charity working to improve patient safety in the UK.
28.01.15: Northern Ireland Health Minister agrees to a Duty of Candour
Northern Ireland Health Minister, Jim Wells, has accepted Sir Liam Donaldson’s recommendation of a Duty of Candour. He made the commitment in a statement yesterday.
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21.01.15: AvMA Welcomes Health Committee Recommendations on NHS Complaints but Demands Action
Today sees the launch of the Health Select Committee's report on "Complaints and Raising Concerns". The charity provided evidence to the committee to help it arrive at this report. AvMA welcomes the publication of this report and the recommendations for improvements to the Ombudsman's role in investigating NHS complaints and strengthening arrangements for independent advice and information for complainants. However, this is just the latest in a long line of reports and we now demand action to improve what has been a failing system. Progress is far too slow. Like the committee, we want to see real improvements being put into action.
AvMA will next month commence work with the Ombudsman on a new service charter, to help the service improve the quality of its investigations and end the practice of turning down cases for investigation simply because the complainant may also be taking legal action to obtain compensation. AvMA is also calling for the independent complaints advice service to be located with local Healthwatch bodies, as a local one-stop-shop for patients.
08.01.15: AvMA REACTION TO WINTER PRESSURES IN A&E
This winter is seeing unprecedented pressure on accident and emergency departments right across the country. Much of the media attention has concentrated on hospitals not meeting the waiting time for admission target of 4 hours maximum. Whilst any decent service should aspire to assess, admit or treat and discharge patients within 4 hours, AvMA is more concerned about patient safety not being compromised and long term solutions being found to this problem. We will inevitably see more cases coming to us where there has been an unreasonable delay in assessing and treating patients, misdiagnosis and inappropriate discharge. Sometimes it will be in the patient’s interests to wait in A&E more than 4 hours. Clinicians need to be free to make decisions about priorities for admission on clinical grounds – not in a box ticking way to meet the target. Meanwhile, we agree with the College of Emergency Medicine that staffing levels in A&E departments need to be improved. Locums are used far too much at present to try to fill the gap. This is not ideal and is also very expensive – the money would be better spent employing permanent staff. Development of primary care centres attached to A&E have also been shown to relieve pressure on A&E.
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